Aleksandar Rodic – Beyond the Horizon: FIEGE’S Vision for a Proactive IT Landscape

by Manuela Lungu

New in our #ConfareBlog Aleksandar Rodic – Beyond the Horizon: FIEGE’S Vision for a Proactive IT Landscape

In today’s dynamic market environment, businesses face significant challenges. To meet these, internal IT plays a crucial role. It’s no longer just about fulfilling customer desires and implementing instructions. CIOs must now actively participate in and drive corporate strategy. Today we are talking with Aleksandar Rodic about FIEGE’S Vision for a Proactive IT Landscape.

Our latest research for the “Proactive IT” factsheet offers exciting insights. We talk with leading IT decision-makers and distinguished CIOs from the Confare network. This factsheet is created in cooperation with Lakeside Software.

The FIEGE Group is a logistics service provider with 135 locations in 15 countries. The company’s history goes back to 1873. In an interview with Global CIO Aleksandar Rodic, we talk about the role IT plays in leading such a traditional company into the future. There is more about this in Aleksandar’s keynote at the Confare #CIOSUMMIT Vienna. More than 700 IT professionals are expected at Austria’s largest and most important IT management event. Secure your ticket in time and be there when the IT managers of the year are awarded the Confare #CIOAWARD.

Meet the IT management experts from Lakeside at the Confare #CIOSUMMITs in Vienna, Zurich and Frankfurt, the most important CIO gatherings in the German speaking area. Lakeside provides IT executives worldwide with comprehensive insights into their IT systems, infrastructure, and architecture – a crucial basis for truly proactive IT. Register now for free, participation is complimentary for IT managers.

Don’t miss the Confare Factsheet “Proactive IT”. Secure your free subscription to the Confare Factsheet here: Factsheet Subscription.

What really constitutes proactive IT? What role do you play as CIO?

Aleksandar Rodic: Proactivity must be practiced in IT at all levels and the starting point for proactivity is a transparent and understood goal in the form of a clear strategy and Confare_Blog_Meme_Aleksandar_Rodic differentiation in the individual departments. With the help of objectives and key results, it is possible to guarantee continuous and transparent goal setting for all employees. As soon as every employee knows where they are working towards and understands the meaning and purpose, they can work independently and proactively without constant consultation with their superiors. As CIO, I moderate and ensure that the methodology is practiced consistently across all teams. Furthermore my management team and I lay the foundation for clear objectives with an initial well-considered OKR level. In addition, constant reflection with all my colleagues forms the basis for formulating the right goals and strategies.

Where are the most important fields of action for changing IT from reactive IT to proactive IT

Aleksandar Rodic: On the one hand, the aforementioned objectives and strategy formulation define the way out of reactive IT. On the other hand, communication is a key factor in preventing reactive IT. Intelligent communication with our team colleagues, business partners and customers lays the foundation for revealing and solving existing challenges. To do this, we need to empower all employees to seek contact and think in a solution-oriented way. In addition, the establishment of regular business relationship meetings is the path to transparency, expanding the points of contact with the business and thus to success. Without a consistent exchange, trends such as cyber security, artificial intelligence and others cannot be successfully created together with the business owners. In addition, a change must take place within the business and the business owners from IT as a cost factor to IT as an enabler.


How important are sustainability, willingness to innovate and human experience?

Aleksandar Rodic: As FIEGE’S global CIO, I believe that putting people first is paramount. Sustainability and innovation can only be successful with colleagues who are willing to change and see the meaning and purpose of change. In our view, the two topics are very closely linked: IT can only become more sustainable with the right innovations. As IT, we need to reflect on our service providers, technologies and behaviors and draw the right conclusions for green IT. Furthermore, innovations are an elementary component of our competitiveness for high efficiency and quality. Together as IT, we want to offer our customers the best solutions, which includes shaping a significant part of our customers’ value chain using the latest technology and making it as sustainable as possible with our IT.

How are IT organization and IT strategy changing in the process?

Aleksandar Rodic: Our IT strategy is the key to focus. Derived from our strategy, we can prioritize all business requirements, projects and developments and thus align our efforts in a targeted manner. The IT organization helps us to maintain clear communication channels and integrate all teams. A lean organization helps the management level to be able to coordinate all relevant activities and continue to focus on the employees. An agile organization also helps to make our teams as self-organized as possible for better quality results.

What are the requirements for IT infrastructure and IT architecture to be able to play the role of proactive IT?

Aleksandar Rodic: The reflection of the latest trends within information technology, e.g. AI & automation, cloud computing, Internet of Things or blockchain and the wide range of offerings within the market show the pressure on IT infrastructure and IT architecture. Although, the performance of the infrastructure must increase significantly in order to meet the requirements of the new trends. Furthermore, it must be designed to be scalable in order to support business success. As part of the IT architecture, it is critical to create clear principles for the alignment of the architecture – leading systems are defined, “uncontrolled growth” of the systems must be prevented. The IT strategy must also make a clear statement on this and define the way forward.

Which tools, mechanisms and methods have proven to be effective in understanding the needs and wishes of employees with regard to proactive IT?

Aleksandar Rodic: The implementation of continuous feedback between leaders and employees led to a faster recording of wishes and needs. By means of standardized documentation and surveys, quick measures could be introduced to continuously improve employee satisfaction. Furthermore, the OKR methodology is an essential tool to keep employees informed about the direction of IT and to give their daily work even more purpose as part of the big picture. The further agilisation of the product teams also led to a new management and work culture. The cyclical joint work strengthens the sense of unity and the motivation to be proactive.

What makes up the user experience in the digital workplace? How can proactive IT contribute to this and shape it?

Aleksandar Rodic: The self-decision of employees and teams to work digitally or in the office and thus their own free decision leads to a joint consensus on the work experience both digitally and locally. The dynamics of the teams within the decision-making process supported self-management and self-organisation and led to their own proactive dialogues to find solutions. Proactive IT gives employees and teams a space to make their own decisions, guided by transparent and meaningful IT objectives. This decision-making space must be supported by the use of the right tools that make it possible and allow individuality. The tools we use drive efficiency and reduce tedious search and administration work. The challenge here is to strike a balance between the team’s own tools and a lean IT architecture.

How does this proactive role affect collaboration with management and specialist departments?

Aleksandar Rodic: Our journey to proactive IT has brought management and specialists much closer together and increased the need for collaboration. In addition the major market trends can only be successfully implemented by cross-functional teams. So that temporary organization and teams were replaced by existing product teams, which bring together the best of the two worlds of IT and business. In these organizational units, innovation is given the appropriate space to grow into solutions and create added value for our customers. Above all Management and specialists have come closer together in terms of content, but direct access from management to the product teams is significantly reduced due to self-organisation.


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