Find out what the Swiss ICT industry could learn from financial technology - where more and more traditional companies are collaborating with innovative start-ups.
As the banking and insurance industries have shown, new requirements, needs, and technologies also lead to a change in the way we work. Many major international banks and insurance companies have actively sought to become more agile and thus able to react more quickly to changes. This has resulted in collaborations with innovative fintech start-ups on the one hand, and the formation of internal innovation teams on the other. Both approaches have led to the development of new services for the banking and insurance customers of today and tomorrow.
Well-known examples of collaborations between traditional companies and innovative start-ups include Raiffeisen and Julius Baer, which co-sponsor start-up programs and actively work with young companies from Switzerland and abroad. The major international bank Standard Chartered has created a complete fintech ecosystem that benefits both the bank and start-ups from around the world. Standard Chartered can outsource tasks and the start-ups have a strong partner to test new solutions in practice. FinTech collaborations help traditional companies to remain competitive in the medium term.
Swiss IT service providers would also benefit from collaborating with strong partners
Due to the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in the Swiss ICT industry and the increasing complexity of technologies and applications, it is unlikely to be realistic in the next few years for IT service providers to have enough resources to manage day-to-day business and focus more on innovation. "We all know that recruiting in the ICT industry is extremely difficult at the moment. If you don't manage to bring in the right people as an IT company, it makes sense to outsource tasks such as looking after the IT infrastructure," says Xelon CEO Michael Dudli.
When working with an IaaS provider, an external partner provides a highly available, stable, secure, and scalable IT infrastructure. IT service providers can thus expand their offerings quickly and easily without making large investments. IT service providers who know that their infrastructure is in good hands can concentrate more on their core business: customer care and the acquisition of new customers.
Case study: Ruhoff-Informatik outsources the support of customer infrastructures
An IT service company that works with an external cloud platform provider in the infrastructure sector is Ruhoff-Informatik, based in Härkingen (SO). Since 2001, Ruhoff-Informatik has been offering ICT solutions from workstations to virtual data centers in the cloud. With the team in Härkingen, Ruhoff-Informatik looks after over 1000 customer systems throughout Switzerland. "We decided to migrate customer infrastructures to the cloud orchestration platform Xelon HQ," says Jean-Pierre Ruhoff, Managing Director of Ruhoff-Informatik GmbH. What has changed for Ruhoff-Informatik since Xelon has taken care of IT infrastructures for Ruhoff customers? "Implementing infrastructure projects has become even easier. The collaboration with Xelon is going so well that spontaneously I can't even think of what could be 'exciting' about our partnership," says Jean-Pierre Ruhoff. The managing director of Ruhoff-Informatik appreciates that processes are clearly defined and that his company has a direct line to Xelon's tech team. "We are all technicians and speak the same language. This allowed us to prepare the migrations well and the projects ran extremely relaxed."
Xelon's mission is to simplify IT infrastructure management and help IT operations teams gain speed and efficiency. "Our strength is to serve customers on the front line and answer their IT questions. Since we know that the IT infrastructures are in good hands with Xelon, we can focus more on our core business again - system, process and customer support as well as consulting," says Jean-Pierre Ruhoff. In the coming months, more customer infrastructures will be migrated to Xelon HQ. "After that, we will see how the journey continues. I can well imagine working more closely with Xelon in the future," Jean-Pierre Ruhoff concludes.