Ikano, when non core activities become heart ! Part 2 : the IT organisation

Since years, Ikano built a Corporate Network to inter-connect entities. […]

July 10, 2012

Since years, Ikano built a Corporate Network to inter-connect entities. Now the foundation for a Private Cloud Services Framework is done…

[question]So Ikano has a different CIO for each business line ?[/question][answer]

Yes, we do. There is an IT manager for each of the group’s activities. At the core of our strategy, we have created space for a federation of the minds, a committee with all the CIO’s from the different business lines, and which also includes me as chairman.

[/answer][question]What are your recipes for a successful IT strategy ?[/question][answer]

We were successful in that we managed to make people understand that the different entities’ needs and issues can be similar. In all our Business Areas, there is a strong wish from the IT to work together and nowadays, we hear no comments like « We in Retail Banking, we don’t have the same issues as the East Asia department stores! » It’s true, and at the same time it’s not true, for a wide range of solutions!

[/answer][question]How is your Cloud organised?[/question][answer]

Over the last five years, we have put in place several things. As far as Infrastructure is concerned, we built a Corporate Network. Today, all entities are inter-connected. We could go as far as creating functional services, such as an HR solution for the whole group, a company intranet, or even videoconferencing, which dramatically reduces travelling. Over the last thirty months, we have worked on a strategy that helps support this IT evolution on a group level and amongst Business Owners.

[/answer][question]How do you open up to the world internally and externally while continuing to service IKEA ?[/question][answer]

Originally, it’s true that Ikano was born in the wake of IKEA. But IKEA related business is not to be taken for granted and it is very important for our Group to decrease our dependency by developing non-IKEA related business.

Nevertheless this independency doesn’t mean that there is no relationship and cooperation with IKEA. For what it concerns IT, our Information Systems are totally separated but of course I’m in contact with IKEA IT and its CIO and we work together on various projects.

Working together with IKEA is a real advantage as the group is so big and appreciated.

[/answer][question]Do you still plan to expand your offering with IKEA?[/question][answer]

As mentioned IKEA and Ikano are today to separated Groups with there own legal structure and organization. Ikano is and must keep a very reactive and flexible approach to be able to take challenges and new opportunities up. This include of course synergies and cooperation with our “Big Brother”.

[/answer][question]How is the IKEA culture reflected at your own level ?[/question][answer]

We don’t feel like we are part of a huge group and we continue being very reactive to the business lines’ needs. It’s great to be in this environment. Of course, culture is at the core of Ikano and it’s largely inspired from IKEA’s. A lot of our managers come from IKEA. Our new CEO who started working in April also comes from IKEA. We also have common values in IT: on the one hand, both Ikano and IKEA value people very much, and we think the « Make it Simple » concept is very important. On the other hand, both companies strive for cost optimisation. At Ikano we don’t have VIP’s, even if people have responsibilities and needs specific to their job. This is an IKEA-inspired culture where every one of us works together whatever his level and his privileges, and which is very appreciated.[/answer]

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