The announcement that DB Cargo and Arlene Bühler had made it to the final of the most prestigious award for decision-makers in the IT industry caused much excitement. The panel considers special IT or digitalisation projects that have been successfully completed in the past two years and their significance for the company as a whole. It also looks at measures to optimise collaboration between IT and business and the IT department's role in driving innovation at the company. To mark the 20th anniversary of CIO of the Year, the winners and CIO of the Year 2022 were announced at a festive gala event on 13 October. As CIO of the Year 2022, Arlene Bühler and her team received the special Corporate Courage Award, which was presented for the first time this year.
Panel impressed by contribution to society
The application submitted by DB Cargo was for an initial successful milestone project involving the transfer of Transa Spedition GmbH within the DB Group from DB Schenker to DB Cargo. What was special about the project was the humanitarian significance. Without the project, the humanitarian rail corridor to Ukraine could not have been established as quickly as it was. In its statement, the panel said, "The contribution that IT can make to society was perfectly demonstrated by Arlene Bühler from DB Cargo. Rarely has a project been implemented with such bravery, courage and speed to help people in need." It enabled thousands of tonnes of food, drinking water and sanitary items to be delivered to Ukraine. The exceptional Corporate Courage Award recognises this extraordinary achievement.
First milestone project completed successfully
Given many challenges, the tight schedule and various different parties involved, an excellent structure was vital, and the teams needed to be perfectly coordinated with each other. This was achieved through highly effective and successful cooperation among Transa FLS, DB Cargo Sales, DB Systel, Salesforce and the DB Cargo IT and Digitalisation team. The migration of customer data and Transa's switch to Salesforce were completed within three months. The project also served as a successful blueprint for the migration of DB Cargo's customer service system, which is currently under way. As a result, not only did the project itself receive good marks from the panel; the importance for the company as a whole was also recognised.
IT as the driver of innovation for DB Cargo
The IT department was reorganised to make it such an important driver of innovation for DB Cargo. Arlene Bühler's organisation was given responsibility for IT strategy, architecture, process management, IT operations, IT projects, IT portfolio management, IT security, transformation and innovation with a focus on data management and artificial intelligence. According to Bühler, there is one clear objective: "To remove all boundaries between IT and business." The plan is for cross-functional teams to implement this objective in practice to achieve the overarching goal of shifting cargo to rail – because freight belongs on trains.