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Frankfurt am Main, 17.05.2017 12:00:00

On Friday, April 7, 2017, Dr Eberhard Kurz, CIO of Deutsche Bahn AG, visited Frankfurt School of Finance & Management to deliver his talk “Technology and its disruptive impact on the business – Digital Transformation at Deutsche Bahn”. Professor Dr Daniel Beimborn, Professor of Information Systems at Frankfurt School, had invited the manager to give a guest lecture for his Master in Management students.

Dr Kurz divided his talk in two parts – one to talk about new digital technologies and developments in the IT sector and the second to look how these changes affect Deutsche Bahn. He particularly pointed out that assisted and autonomous driving would change and disrupt the mobility market. New technologies will open up new business models as well as change the way people work and commute.

He continued to explain his responsibilities as CIO at Deutsche Bahn, pointing out that around 8.000 employees work for the IT unit alone. “The goals we set for the IT unit are closely linked to the strategic goals of the company”, Dr Kurz said. “It is our job to support these goals. One of the questions we continually ask ourselves is: How can our IT be cost-effective, but also flexible and innovative. One of the aims is to make the time spent at trains and at stations more enjoyable and to provide a smooth journey – one example is that we have equipped our escalators and elevators with smart sensors – this way they will alert a technician, if they are not working properly. This allows us to send out a repair team and fix the issue more quickly than before.”

To explore new technical developments and their implementation, Deutsche Bahn IT continuously looks at what kind of new technologies are out there. He explained: “Which technologies have the potential to change the business and how can these be used to benefit the company and its customers.” Working with start-ups is one way of staying up-to-date, so Deutsche Bahn runs several labs and accelerators to do this. But although innovative ideas were important, a highly professional and streamlined project management was also essential for the success of any IT project as well as for the company as a whole.

After these insights into the IT management at Deutsche Bahn, the students had ample time to ask questions an engage in a lively discussion with Dr Eberhard Kurz.