Friday, 26 September 2014

SIX Global IT in year one

Since April, the computer science is enhanced when banking service provider SIX and organized in the independent division Global IT with around 800 employees. Global CIO Robert Borntrager on the "Enforcing standards and the pursuit of innovation."

SIX Global IT in year one
Robert Borntrager has currently probably one of the most interesting but also most demanding IT jobs in Switzerland. He is CEO of the newly minted Division Global IT SIX with at least 800 employees. Since early April, the Division, which has been built from the former IT and development departments of the four divisions of the large bank and exchange service operating.

Big restructuring are dangerous and the consequences are often the exodus of top people who work to rule and leaks to the outside. But no one called us and even the long ears of our colleagues from Inside parade ground snapped off-axis sounds. Borntrager attributes this to the collaborative methods in the preparatory work for the launch of Global IT. "At the start there were no major more discussions," said Borntrager talking to He is proud that the turnover rate has remained well below 10 percent.

"Even I myself had to evolve. Because in the company I had the reputation of the operator, who only looks at the costs. Many were then surprised that I am dealing with topics such as agile methods and Scrum." The manager emphasized that the summary of the SIX-computer science no rationalization and no job cuts project was in a Division. "We have said from the beginning:" For every IT staff, there is a point at Global IT. And in 2015 no reduction measures are planned, "so Borntrager but the savers he can not hide:" We are always under cost constraint and must produce cheaper compared to the market divisions of SIX "He also does not deny that the founding of SIX Global IT did not fit all computer science cadres: "Some management people are gone. But it was not much more than a handful”

"Enforce standards consistently" 

Then Borntrager draws a diagram on a piece of paper that everyone knows which deals with business computer science. It's about the ratio of expenses for operation (currently about 50 percent), maintenance (20 percent) and development and innovation (30 percent). Like all CIOs want to increase the share of investment in innovation and reduce those for operation and maintenance also Borntrager. "We want to use more resources for innovation. This also applies to cooperation with external partners, including nearshore and offshore."

To reduce the cost of operation and maintenance of computer science platforms by SIX, which is always possible standardized and automated. There are according Borntrager no single recipe and not a miracle cure for automation: "You just always working hard - and you have to enforce standards tough So we put more than 90 percent Linux as a server operating system and adhere strictly to our. Standards in databases, middleware, storage. New software is developed on a standard such as Java and agile methods. "For developers who saw themselves as creative individuals, it is not easy to accept strict standards, says Borntrager.

Skills shortages and "Generation Gap" 

But the typical employee of SIX Global IT is ever creative? Borntrager wants to know nothing of our prejudices about banks in computer science: "I am convinced that they can not find IT people, who understand more of our business and computer science, but in certain technologies we have gaps and large-scale projects, the resources could scarce. Will. In such cases, we want to work with long-term partners. "

It is currently difficult to find SAP specialist, but he has noted for his company no general shortage of skilled labor, Borntrager answers our question whether SIX could recruit the necessary computer. "We find our people." In addition, the bank service is currently over 30 apprentices in computer science. Born carrier plans to increase this figure: "Our goal is to train 50 computer science apprentices it is a good education and training opportunities in the colleges are sensational...”

The average age of the computer scientists at SIX Global IT lies at about 40 years. While many professionals over 45 percentage have a deeper computer science basic training, but "taught" are, young computer scientists have a master's degree or a diploma and thus often a wider knowledge than their superiors. This can lead to a kind of generational conflict within the organization, told Borntrager.

Mobile Payment, Miniaturization, New materials

With what deals the CEO of SIX Global IT, when it comes to innovation? Borntrager is quickly with answers at hand. The obvious is the issue of "Mobile Payment". Borntrager: "credit card information be stored on a Smartphone per se is not very innovative becomes more interesting when you can use virtual, stored in Internet purses alternative payment options, P2P-wallets to alternative money like Bitcoin are innovative..."

The SIX probably one of the biggest "IT consumers" in Switzerland. So Borntrager busy with the miniaturization in computer science. New technologies and new solutions, such as computational grids will make flexible solutions and large server farms superfluous. "The backend is being revolutionized," Borntrager is convinced. This might increase with the use of new materials yet. For example, with graphs. So you will be able to grab among other more logic on chips that are so much more efficient. "In the development of these new materials, the Switzerland must invest," Borntrager is convinced.

"Graph", "Bitcoin", "P2P-wallets" and “Miniaturization”: cost reduction and standards seem definitely not to be the only issues of concern to the CEO of the computer science division of SIX.

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