Cover Story


Delta 21 Info Tech Plan Rolls Out

Group IT is a big part of Delta 21’s goal to make GAC fit to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Chief Information Officer Martin Wallgren is rolling out new structures, attitudes and approaches. Here is his view of what happening in six short chapters. Click on the links below in your preferred order.

 

The Vision

“The IT organisation shall strongly influence the company’s digital business development and provide platforms and competence needed”

Organisational change

Group IT has done a deep analysis of how we will translate the Delta 21 vision into action for Information technology.

Delta 21 Information technology vision
 

Customer and user-focused tech development

Customer and user-focused
tech development

Cybersecurity and next-gen IT

Cybersecurity
and next-gen IT

All the media in the world are now writing about Digitalisation. If I translate this buzz-word into reality it means: business development with a touch of technology.

“The use of people and digital technologies to change the business model, automate workflows and provide new revenue and value-producing products.”

Organisation Structure 2018

The new Group IT organisation will deliver high-performance IT tools to GAC´s business units. We will focus on business value, quality systems, secure IT environment and future technology. Group IT´s new organisational structure is designed to work on structured teamwork.

Technology Business Management (TBM)

The TBM team will have a Product focus and will create Business Product Executive Groups called IT Councils. Get the full story here.

Infrastructure and Operations

To be able to run our systems, we need to secure our IT infrastructure. If we have an incident in our IT-environment we need to be able to solve it as fast as possible. Time is money.

To monitor and secure our worldwide IT-operations we will create a well-defined Infrastructure and Workstation Policy and make sure that we have a controlled and modern environment. This also includes moving our systems to the Cloud where necessary.

All worldwide local IT teams will be included in this team. We will also start to use the same IT service management tool to track internal trends and statistics.

Architecture and Development

Our aim is to combine the best of what we have developed and take advantage of future developed modules. Our Application Product teams will be divided into:

  • Shipping
  • Logistics
  • Customer & MI
  • and Integration.

We will work on a new architectural platform to enable us to deliver business value as quickly as possible. The teams will be trained in the world of “Agile development”. Where appropriate, some development will be done by third-party partners to save time and learn from others.

The slogan for the team is “build what matters” and will, together with the operation centre, take care of the support for the applications.

Special Projects

Not everything we do as a company will follow a well-structured process. We need to adapt quickly to changes in laws and customer demands. The Special Project team will make sure that even the most complicated or odd demands outside of our products are met.

Digital Lab

The speed of change in the world has increased dramatically and GAC must follow, adapt to or lead this change. The Digital Lab-team will be responsible for Group IT´s internal “Hackathons” - learning by doing. The Digital Lab will be in the forefront of finding and testing new software and hardware solutions that can change the way we operate or give GAC Group a competitive advantage in our product segments.

Customer and user-focused tech development

What really matters to our customers is that we deliver what we promise, on time and at the agreed quality and price. They also want GAC to adapt to their changes when necessary. This all contributes to producing our Product portfolio and operations.

Historically, Group IT´s development and GAC business units have focused on Application segments rather than Product segments when developing technical solutions.

This is one of the reasons why we have three major logistics systems with a great deal of similar functionality, namely:

  • GACfreight
  • GACware
  • Marlog

The same applies in the Shipping and Back Office segments. The applications have similar, yet unconnected, modules that create more administrative work in our operations and time-consuming development when we need to adapt to change.

The Application approach has been successful and we can be proud of our legacy but with trends like globalisation, integration, digitalisation and automation, it will hinder us going forward.

Over the last four years, Group IT has focused on solving the technical debt and internal business problems. We will have new versions of our major applications rolled out to the GAC Group when we start the new year 2018.

If you take a holistic approach to GAC´s product portfolio we have the following segments:

Shipping and Marine

Shipping & Marine

Logistics

Logistics

Back office and Management Information

Back office & Management Information

Starting in January 2018, Group IT will start the journey of focusing on Products rather than Applications. We will also implement a structured way of running projects, taking decisions and deciding on IT-investments (see related story here). I strongly believe that if we focus on “Solving the customers’ problems” we will also solve our business problems. It’s almost inevitable.

Writing the GAC product story

The magic underlying all software is that it is essentially a combination of “words”. If you need to change the software, you change the “words”. This is coding.

I believe that to code a good IT system you need a good business story. This is exactly like writing a bestselling book. You need a good story and a passionate writer.

Our business story is simply a detailed description of how we sell, operate and earn money on our products.

If we can agree on these key story elements, we will be able to write some good, customer-focused software. We will also find out which details in our products are globally relevant and which only apply locally.

Our mantra for the story should be “As global as possible but as local as needed”.

Project vs Product?

Project: A planned set of tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations. It has a clear start and finish.

Product: A good or service that most closely meets the requirements of a market and yields enough profit to justify its continued existence. It ends when customers no longer want it.

Group IT will do Project management with a Product focus.

We will follow a Decision Process (DP) to make sure we are tracking either the money or the strategy.

DP0 DP1 DP2 DP3, 4, 5 DP6 Benefit Harvesting
Related articles