The consumer goods manufacturer Beiersdorf wants to stay in touch with its customers throughout the entire customer journey. But for this, the backend also needs to be modernized. […]
“Digitization at Beiersdorf has quickly integrated into everyday working life,” says Annette Hamann, CIO and Managing Director IT of Beiersdorf Shared Services GmbH at the Hamburg IT Strategy Days. Digital units are established and customers are addressed via new touchpoints, such as messenger services or blogs.
However, this has usually been handled by agencies so far. The partners controlled the activities and collected the data. “Therefore, the information was fragmented, because it was only recorded and evaluated per action,” comments Hamann. However, the goal is to get a holistic picture of the clientele. Beiersdorf wants to communicate in a personalized way and offer individualized products along the entire customer journey – from brand awareness, to purchase, to brand loyalty.
For this to work, Beiersdorf needs the right processes, so the CIO launched a second initiative with the “Company Journey”. Processes in the background are to be digitized and automated. “Although the customer and company journalists have different ambitions, we can only adapt the customer approach if the internal processes are running,” says Hamann.
Hamann is building a holistic data platform for this purpose. In it, all information should be automatically merged, bundled, analyzed and evaluated. The business units receive the results and can thus interact better with the customers. Hamann: “The processes in the background must be automated in order to be able to make individualized offers in bulk.“
In order to cope with all this, IT itself also had to change. Hamann therefore began to transform the IT organization in parallel to the two journeys. It is important to make them a business partner that generates added value.
According to Hamann, this change has five dimensions. In addition to the overarching strategy, the operation model and the internal IT processes must be adapted on the one hand. For the latter, there is again a focus on automation. In addition, she wants to further develop the IT architecture so that it can adapt to rapidly changing business requirements. After all, it is important to operate talent and skill management in such a way that both smooth operation and innovations are ensured.
Beiersdorf is building up the necessary know-how through new positions and internal training courses. For Hamann, it is important to receive impulses from outside as well as to invest in the training of its own workforce. In addition, she is committed to making IT more attractive for women and is, for example, a cooperation partner of the Hamburg initiative “IT Girls”. “Diversity is important for any organization in order to remain efficient,” summarizes the CIO.
*Jens Dose is editor of the CIO magazine. In addition to the core topics around CIOs and their projects, he also deals with the role of the CISO and its area of responsibility.