Program Manager IT | Daniel Rist

„From baby steps to giant leaps into the cloud”

How I got started – and why

The direction for my professional future was set by my very first IT project. The project focused on what at that time was an unusual task: the introduction of a visual archive at GEMA. The success of the project and the positive feedback I received encouraged me to concentrate on the IT project business... After working for Veltins and Westdeutsche Spielbanken, I switched to ThyssenKrupp IT Services in 2010. Why? Because I was intrigued by the size of a DAX30 Group – and the vast IT landscapes in a global context were entirely new territory for me. At that time, TK IT was still in its infancy, and the task was to build it up into a group-wide, internal service provider. Quite a challenge! My job was to analyze Data Centers, develop migration methods and implement the associated projects.

My challenges – many opportunities

thyssenkrupp is going through a period of transition. Of course this has a huge impact on the IT-landscape. Existing structures are being revised and new topics are opened up. The transition from decentralized, sector-oriented IT landscapes to cloud-focused and highly flexible standardized and harmonized IT is in full swing. This creates many opportunities to get involved and help design this change. At the same time, the future IT landscape must be created in such a way that the needs of all stakeholders with their different demands are taken into account. In other words, we also need to ensure that these changes meet with a positive response. Overall, IT at thyssenkrupp involves a wide range of very different tasks, which make it necessary to quickly learn new topics and be able to react flexibly. In this exciting environment, I have decided to focus more strongly on developing my abilities in the field of strategic IT and to take on new tasks as a Program Manager.

My projects – unlimited communication

As I mentioned, at thyssenkrupp, IT involves a wide range of topics and plenty of opportunities to get involved and initiate new developments. The global presence of the group in particular means that you constantly come into contact with a huge variety of different colleagues, cultures and countries, expanding your own horizons in doing so. Here, an important factor for success is uninterrupted communication across country and continental borders, and this is something that we are constantly working to achieve. A number of different projects have already proven that this can certainly work!

My best moment

Even if it has been some time, there is no doubt that this is the contract negotiations as part of the IT-consolidation program. The purpose of this tender – among other Things – was to migrate a total of 80,000 computer workspaces and 10,000 server systems in 34 countries into the cloud. I was asked by my boss at the time to join the negotiation team, even though at that time I had no idea of what needed to be done. As a result, I was insecure at first, particularly considering the huge scale of the contract... After the introductory phase, however, I found my feet very quickly and have even grown into the role of Stream Lead. Overall, this has been a great experience, which has given me the opportunity to learn a great deal, and which has allowed me to develop on a professional and personal level.

A look to the future...

After a successful start in terms of “cloudification” and digitization I hope that our IT will be entirely competitive along with the successful change at thyssenkrupp, with a high degree of standardization and transparency across all IT landscapes. And then, too, we are sure to be faced with new, exciting challenges every day.