The outstanding efforts of Bosch’s head of information technology (IT) Dr. Elmar Pritsch and his team have not gone unnoticed. The trade journals CIO and Computerwoche named the 48-year-old executive “CIO of the year” in the large company category at its gala in Munich on Nov. 23. With their selection, the jury acknowledged the contribution that the computer scientist has made in his role as chief information officer (CIO) during Bosch’s digital transformation into a leading IoT provider.
“Bosch is regarded as having a globally leading IoT platform. The cloud service that runs in the background and is indispensable for the platform’s operation was developed by Elmar Pritsch and his team,” said the judges. “The importance of IT solutions in the connected world continues to grow, because they are becoming an essential part of the products and their related services. This is why we have systematically realigned our in-house IT department <http://news.bosch-presse.de/go/16/2HDCLGUC-2HCT6DCC-2B4S9H6Z-17O319GS.html> over the past several months. We used to primarily ensure efficient in-house IT infrastructure, but today, we are focusing more on advancing digital business models created by Bosch,” said Pritsch, who is responsible for 7,500 associates worldwide.
By 2020, Bosch plans to make every new electronic product web-enabled and to develop related data services. Bosch is well-positioned to achieve success, since in addition to software and services, it also provides sensors and develops solutions for all core domains: smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility and Industry 4.0.
“The importance of IT solutions in the connected world continues to grow, because they are becoming an essential part of the products and their related services. This is why we have systematically realigned our in-house IT department over the past several months,” said Pritsch.
A joint effort: collaborative development of the Bosch IoT Cloud
“Digital business models require an IoT cloud that is powerful, scalable, open and secure at the same time,” said Pritsch. As a result, Bosch developed the Bosch IoT Cloud together with external partners in just two years. It has been in use since 2016.
“Over the past 18 months, we have implemented some 100 IoT solutions and projects on the Bosch IoT Cloud, from prototypes to solutions used in production,” he added.
Included among these is insurance company Huk-Coburg’s cloud-based solution designed specifically for young drivers. With the driver’s consent, a telematics box installed in the vehicle records information on driving behavior. This data is then used to calculate an overall score, which can result in lower premiums, and aims to increase road safety. The telematics box also can detect if an accident has occurred and will automatically notify the insurance company’s call center to take further action.
Since mid-2017, Bosch has had a corporate center of competence for Bosch’s global IT activities in the form of the new IT campus in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. The establishment of the center of competence also entailed developing new structures and processes. “IT and specialist departments are now working together even more closely and are better networked than before. This setup will help further accelerate the development of data-based business models and reduce time to market,” Pritsch explains. In the future, every Bosch business sector will pool its digital activities in the hands of a business chief digital officer.
Responsibility: managing global IT at Bosch
As the head of global IT at Bosch, the responsibilities shouldered by the “CIO of the year” range from the design and efficient operation of Bosch’s global IT infrastructure to overseeing a large number of different software solutions and the development of digital services. His department also maintains and operates the Bosch IoT Cloud and the related ecosystem.
“The honor serves as a source of motivation and an obligation at the same time to continue down our path toward increasingly data-driven business,” said Pritsch, who has been in charge of the IT department since 2015. He joined Bosch IT in 2014 as the head of technology and development. Prior to that, he held a number of management positions at strategy and IT consulting companies.
This is the 15th time the trade magazines CIO and Computerwoche, which belong to IDG Business Media, have named a “CIO of the Year.” Each year, a jury of notable experts selects the best CIOs from large companies and SMEs. The judges look at factors including how well an IT department manages to open up promising new areas of business for its company and thereby ensure long-term success.