Leader IBM Watson IoT Center Munich | IBM Deutschland GmbH
Nominated in the Category: Global Hero
Short description of the company
IBM is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in Armonk, New York, US (https://www.ibm.com). It’s the largest technology employer in the world, employing over 350,000 IBMers around the world (with >50% less than 5 years with the company) and serving clients in 170 countries.
IBM strives to bring together innovative technology, e.g. AI, Cloud, IoT, Blockchain and more, with industry expertise and of course trust & security.
IBM’s credo is to be essential, strongly believing that the application of intelligence, reason and science can improve business, society and the human condition. Therefore, three values drive IBM and IBMers: 1. Dedication to every client’s success
2. Innovation that matters – for the company and the world
3. Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships
Equally important is the focus on diversity and inclusion, which has its origin in 1899, when the first women were hired. Another milestone among several was the first Equal Opportunity Letter, signed by IBM’s CEO in 1953, 11 years ahead of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the US (https://www.ibm.com/employment/inclusion/). 1984, sexual orientation was included in the equal opportunity policy, and 2017 the official rainbow IBM logo was introduced in support of the LGBT+ community.
In 2018, IBM generated 79.6 billion US$ revenue. At least 7% of the total revenue is re-invested in Research & Development, and IBM completed the 26th year of patent leadership in 2018. In addition, IBM is the home of 6 Nobel laureates, who won their awards either as active or past IBMers.
How does digitization shape your/her career?
My first contact with the “digital world” was through my dad, an electrical engineer, who used to work for one of the best-known global IT companies. He certainly supported my university major: applied mathematics with a huge part of computer science. Since then, my career would have been unthinkable without 0s and 1s, aka digitization.
In fact, digitization has shaped it from the very beginning, which was more than 26 years ago at IBM: From being an IT specialist developing and implementing IT service management solutions, to consulting my clients how to plan and undergo IT process transformation in the early years of digitization, facing more and more automation in IT operations, to shaping their IT strategies in order to cope with new (digitization and globalization) challenges, to defining a digital innovation framework for both IT operations and business innovation, to leading a global community of the most innovative technical and digital thinkers – who have been essential drivers of IBM’s transformation for more than 30 years –, to changing the digital mindset of the Technical Sales population in Germany, Austria, Switzerland to a “show, not tell” attitude, and to finally leading the global Watson IoT Center in Munich, where we collaborate with clients on state-of-the-art digital solutions from ideation to implementation.
With this clear passion for digitization and innovative technologies comes a second passion – equally important in digital transformation and for me as a digital leader: a passion for people, creating enough leverage for everyone to innovate and develop themselves.
What makes you/her a digital female leader?
Let’s look at the terms one by one:
1. Female: Well, I’m a woman.
2. Digital: I spent my whole career in IT, in one of the biggest technology companies, existing and constantly transforming for more than 100 years = digital by nature.
3. Global leader: This requires some more words… Since my early consulting days, I've been leading teams and providing technical leadership in complex client projects around the world (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Peru, Singapore, US, …).
One of my career highlights was certainly becoming President, IBM Academy of Technology (AoT) in 2014 - a global community of the brightest technical minds representing >40 countries, responsible for innovation, technical success and change. This assignment was a stretch between motivating a volunteer community and satisfying the major executive stakeholders. To quote an AoT member: "Andrea handled it with a finesse and style that not only put the AoT to great work, but made it a fun and rewarding place to be".
Becoming Chief Technology Officer in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, responsible for the technical strategy and the technical pre-sales community, was the next leadership position, earning me quite some external and social eminence. And just recently, I’ve been appointed the leader of the global Watson IoT Center in Munich, responsible for its scope, market relevance and employees from >15 countries.
But my leadership is also acknowledged in Germany:
- 2017: "Women in IT" Award for Technical Innovation
- Since September 2018: Named expert in the AI Enquete Kommission of the German Parliament.
What does leadership mean to you/her?
Leadership is all about coaching and empowering others to find the best possible person within themselves and to bring it to the surface for our joint success – in which sense being a successful leader doesn’t mean you need a lot of people reporting to you, it’s rather a mindset, attitude and style, where you can also partake, give feedback and befriend, rather than observe, control and direct.
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Find videos e.g. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0wiTxXD1Us, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UIZHAxWb28, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNAez4Q4Bns, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNJaRWEZwoU, and many more