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Digitalization with changed signs – and suddenly everything is different

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Silence reigns in the offices of NORMA Group. No clattering of keyboards, no voices in the corridors, no noise from the coffee machines. A few weeks ago, the daily work routine turned 180 degrees from one day to the next due to the corona virus – a great challenge for everyone. The situation has shown that investments in a future-oriented, well-positioned IT infrastructure pay off for companies and employees alike. Everyday business life is being successfully continued virtually from the mobile workplace. There is more than one reason why everything is working smoothly.

Digitalization at NORMA Group

In the past weeks and months, it has become clear that digitalization is an important element for successful virtual work. For years, our focus in developing the IT strategy has been on digitalization and standardization. NORMA Group has invested in modern IT technology, future-oriented tools and applications as well as security concepts. We have gradually raised the IT infrastructure to a technically advanced level. Our workstation equipment is of a high digital standard and state-of-the-art. We have also always focused on the accompanying communication and change management. These investments have now paid off.

High performance, in-house know-how and an appropriate level of IT maturity are essential keys to the company’s success and an absolute prerequisite for digital change!

Digital challenges in times of the corona crisis

The respect for the overall situation was great. We, i.e. ict & bpm Management (Information and Communication Technology & Business Process Management), quickly realized that our current digital basis was very good and that it was possible to fall back on existing emergency plans and adapt to a certain extent. The biggest challenge was to enable all employees to switch from the office workplace to the mobile workplace on an ad hoc basis without disrupting our day-to-day business. Communication and collaboration solutions from Microsoft and various other core applications were already available on a cloud-based basis. It was just a matter of finding a way to deploy them faster than planned.

The global security concept enabled many employees to run even sensitive applications virtually at their mobile workstations. The high degree of standardization made the rapid implementation possible. Initially, we had to monitor bandwidth and nodes for a certain period of time and adjust them dynamically. This required the utmost attention. In the meantime, the extensions planned for this purpose have also been completed ahead of schedule and all of our employees worldwide can rely on good performance.

NORMA Group employees worldwide master the virtual working day

We conclude that our employees have mastered the switch from office workstations to mobile workplaces very well. They were supported by a special guide for the mobile workplace with advice on hardware, software, security and data protection. The Global Service Desk was available 24/5 in the proven manner. Everyone was flexible and understanding. Many of our people benefited from the comprehensive IT training we had offered in the past, which made the transition easier for them. There was and is a good working relationship – at all locations. This cannot be taken for granted if from one day to the next, nothing in everyday working life functions as it used to.

Virtual workplace – IT has passed the stress test

When it comes to the virtual workplace, almost everything is running smoothly at the moment. We as a company can be proud of this. I would like to thank my team and also all our employees. Everyday office life at NORMA Group is now being successfully conducted virtually. A new milestone has been reached and a broad basis for the digital future has been laid.

Digital prospects for the future

Due to the corona pandemic, digitalization is becoming even more important in our lives. The transformation phase is in full swing at an unforeseen speed. The digital maturity level of our personal workplace with hardware and software is good to very good. The focus on IT security is and will remain an important issue for us. Despite very high standards, we have already planned the “next level” – with state-of-the-art technology based on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

True digitalization initiatives have an impact on the sustainable transformation of business models, organizational structures and our corporate culture.

True digitalization, however, involves much more for our company. Before corona, disruption was already an issue to be able to survive in the market in the future, but now it is essential. Digitalizing IT workplaces, processes, procurement and supply chains is no longer “only” digitalization, but rather a prerequisite for survival. With the expansion of the IT area of responsibility to include Business Process Management, a change initiative has already been launched at NORMA Group.

We must deal with the following issues even more intensively in the future than we have before: What percentage of value added do we want to generate in the future via digital business models? How can we design a comprehensive digital strategy that focuses on our products, services and solutions? How can we responsibly take our employees along with us?

Companies that manage to make digital strategies and digital know-how transparent from the Supervisory Board to the Management Board, the executives and every single employee are ahead of the game. Let’s continue to tackle this together!

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