A 22-year journey
Gerhard Kraus has the enormous task of running Boehringer Ingelheim’s IT infrastructure team. This is the largest team in IT and covers everything from data storage, cyber-security through to applications and devices. He joined in 1997, somewhat by accident! “I had another job at a leading IT company and was really practicing my interview technique by coming to Boehringer”. The obvious question to follow was what has made him stay for 22 years since! “The people, the opportunity to always work on exciting challenges and learn something new. I have lived in several countries including six fantastic years in the US.”
Making a huge impact
Inevitably, every morning when he arrives to do such a demanding job, something somewhere isn’t working or needs fixing! What fires up his energy and commitment is the company’s culture and sense of purpose. “It is really simple” he said, “Improving the health of humans and animals is our vision. What we do can make a huge impact, and this is profoundly important to me.”
Being at the heart of the future
One of the key challenges for IT in a fast changing world is stepping up to help the business embrace technology in the business strategy so that the work of IT links closely to patient outcomes. “The prevalence of data, the role of technology and what automation will do for every industry is so profound. So we are at the heart of the future. More importantly in 30 years in business I have learned through IT how to innovate - because there is always the next thing. This built in cycle of obsolescence, new learning and innovation is something we in IT know inside out. We can help the business teams embrace this way of thinking and adapt faster. It will change how every process works and it will help us achieve more. When you’re in the healthcare business that potential productivity is literally life changing”.
Coming closer to home, what does the future hold for the infrastructure team? “We are probably the only department that affects everyone in the company every day - and at last count that was over 50.000 people! We are changing our attitude to be more user centric and motivated to drive the future workplace. Our job is to create a “Digital Workplace” where our teams can efficiently collaborate with each other anytime, from anywhere with any device”.
Applying your skills to the most profound outcomes
Today, there is huge competition for talent and Gerhard believes Boehringer Ingelheim can offer a unique experience. “We are a serious prospect for anyone considering an IT career. We may not have the pure scale of the largest technology players but we have the ability to let you apply your skills to the most profound outcomes. We will lead in life science technology, I am convinced of that, because of the company’s strategy and culture. We have made the bet, we have the patience and determination, we will give space to experiment and we always challenge our people to grow. We have something called ‘Tomorrowland’ where we let people try new things and we don’t expect a product or a specific outcome, we simply ask them to write up what they learned and share it across the team. It is by experimentation and innovation we will build the team, the culture”.
Find out about working in IT at Boehringer Ingelheim on our IT careers page.