Disruptive Consequences of the Digital Transformation on IT Departments within the Automotive Industry
IT departments within the automotive industry are responsible for the provision of IT services for business functions. Historically this includes the IT solution development as well as IT operations and IT Service Management.
Due to the increasing digitalization of the business functions along the value-chain significant IT know-how is required (Industry 4.0). This concerns particularly the areas of development, sales, production, after-sales, and service. The supporting IT departments are often unable to provide this know-how. On one hand, the necessary resource capacity cannot be provided. On the other hand, extensive specialist skills (domain knowledge) would be needed to understand and implement the resulting IT requirements for the digital transformation. This knowledge has to be established within the IT Departments.
Therefore, the Digital Transformation will force a substantive scope change for IT departments. The competences needed to develop IT solutions is becoming concentrated in the areas of business functions. These will invest in their own resources in order to build up the necessary IT know-how to face the digital challenges.
So the tasks of IT departments are becoming more and more focused on providing the underlying IT platform, IT operations, and IT Service Management after IT solutions has been implemented.
Although the development of IT solutions will be shifted into the areas of business functions, the tasks of IT departments will become much more complex because the effective range of needed support will extend considerably. With the increasing introduction of IT technology within the production as well as within the car itself, the IT landscape will be completed with many new components.
The portfolio of IT services to be operated and supported will increase significantly. The complexity of the dependencies between IT components will therefore increase dramatically.
With the increasing introduction of IT technology within the car, the end customer of the vehicle will extend the so far only internal customers of the IT department. Therefore, IT departments will even become responsible for the satisfaction of the end customer.
To master the dependencies, for the stabilization of IT operations, and to assure customer satisfaction the IT Service Management (ITSM) processes will become more important.
Despite the shift of the development IT solutions into the areas of business functions, the ITSM processes have to comprehensively and efficiently support the complete value chain from the ideation through IT development up to IT operations and continuous improvement.
Many IT departments have not yet mastered the balancing act of the digital transformation and are still not prepared appropriately to be ready for the future.
Author: Jörg Diringer, Principal Management Consultant at KUGLER MAAG CIE