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IT is key element of Bosch’s business strategy

-Concept: even tighter IT integration at corporate and business-sector levels
-Benefit: faster development of digital business models
-Relevance: IT and software solutions are drivers of new Bosch products and services

Stuttgart  – WEBWIRE

"Information technology is evolving from a cost factor into a core competence. It will make a major contribution to Bosch’s future growth, since it will be part of products and their accompanying services." Dr. Elmar Pritsch, Bosch’s chief information officer

If washing machines and dryers automatically switch themselves on as electricity from the house’s own solar panels becomes available, energy costs can be reduced. If the appliances can in addition be inspected remotely at regular intervals and serviced when needed, the result is significantly lower repair costs. “Services such as remote diagnosis and maintenance only work when products are connected via the internet of things (IoT),” says Dr. Elmar Pritsch, Bosch’s chief information officer. The 48-year-old is responsible for the company’s global IT infrastructure, and a workforce of 7,500. In recent months, the supplier of technology and services has developed and rolled out its new IT@Bosch concept. This novel approach involves more closely linking Bosch’s corporate IT sector with its business sectors. “Information technology is evolving from a cost factor into a core competence. It will make a major contribution to Bosch’s future growth, since it will be part of products and their accompanying services,” Pritsch says. By 2020, Bosch has set itself the goal of making every new electronic product web-enabled, and developing accompanying services.

IT customer focus: accelerated projects, shorter time to market

Up to now, the corporate IT sector’s primary task was to extend the company’s global IT infrastructure, support users, and provide hardware such as computers and monitors. In the future, the sector will offer everything that comparable service providers in the market offer: from consultancy to software development and application, to the administration and support of platforms, portals, and operating systems. Its advisory activities will include more support for all Bosch units in developing digital business models. “The tight integration between corporate IT and individual units will help us develop and market data-based business models more quickly,” Pritsch says. “In order to do this, we have to collaborate more closely, efficiently, and transparently within the company.” To enable this, in the future every Bosch business sector will transfer responsibility for its digital activities to a business chief digital officer (BCDO). The BCDOs will work together with their counterparts in Bosch’s corporate IT sector to launch innovation projects. A globally networked team will then be responsible for the project’s realization.

IT portfolio: cloud and ecosystem as cornerstones of new business models

One of the cornerstones of data-based business models and cross-domain applications is Bosch’s own IoT cloud. This encompasses the technical infrastructure, including a company-owned computing center, as well as platform and software offerings for connected mobility, industry, and buildings. Currently, some 70 Bosch applications are running in the company’s cloud. In the future, Bosch’s IT partners and customers will also be able to use the cloud. It is one further step toward an open IoT ecosystem comprising a wide variety of players. “We believe that collaboration with partners is the key to success on the internet of things,” Pritsch says. Bosch is now working on connectivity topics in over 60 partnerships and strategic alliances.

IT employer: help shape future technology in a state-of-the-art working environment

Bosch offers an extremely attractive working environment for IT and software experts, in which innovative formats such as hackathons and innovation hubs foster creativity and support agile ways of working. One example is the Chicago Connectory, which opened in the U.S. city in May 2017. Bosch operates it in partnership with 1871, a consortium of some 500 technology start-ups. The Bosch Group currently employs more than 20,000 software engineers – a figure that is rising rapidly.

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). The company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 59,000 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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