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IT world and digitalization

Digitalization must create a visible benefit. Technology for technology’s sake would be the wrong approach.

Jörn Weigle, Vice President IT

Now that you have been with Vetter for 12 months, how do you see things and how would you describe your initial experience?
Joern Weigle: I feel wonderful. I had a nice start at Vetter, largely due to Vetter’s very well prepared six-month transition phase from my previous employer. During this time, I was able to participate in several meetings at Vetter, have conversations and view important documents. This made for a smooth start on October 1. The first year was an extremely intensive and exciting learning phase for me.
How does working at Vetter differ from your previous employer?
Joern Weigle: My previous employer was in the automotive industry and, as such, the processes in the pharmaceutical environment were new to me. The regulatory conditions that we have in production at Vetter are much more restrictive than those in vehicle manufacturing. IT, on the other hand, was not new to me as it basically uses similar systems and deals with similar topics. Nevertheless, it was important to quickly get an overview of the systems, their criticality and the processes supported by them.

Everyone is talking about digitization. Where do you see opportunities of digitization for Vetter?
Joern Weigle: Digitization affects the entire company, with IT naturally playing a central role in its implementation. In my opinion, the greatest opportunity lies in streamlining processes and increasing efficiency. Once the processes have been digitized, we can control them in a completely different way. From a digitized process, knowledge can also be gained that can, in turn, be used to optimize processes, for example, in production or quality assurance.

If you take a look into the future, to what extent will IT’s field of activity change over the next five years?
Joern Weigle: Considering that in five years many processes will be digitized throughout, IT will be more production-critical than it is today. We will be more concerned with providing the systems according to their production criticality. There will be 24/7 support, systems with fallbacks and emergency processes that are so robust that the production is never compromised by IT failures. Furthermore, the integrity of data will become more important in the next years. Once data is digitally captured, reviewed and archived, e.g. in quality assurance, the data integrity of this information is important. This is increasingly an important issue in customer audits and authority inspections.

Will topics such as artificial intelligence also play a role at Vetter?
Joern Weigle: In my view of today’s Vetter world, at least, many new interesting technologies have emerged that can be applied to a variety of areas. One such topic will probably be machine learning or, in a more advanced stage, artificial intelligence. There is enormous potential there. Of course, you have to treat these topics with sensitivity and look where the application makes sense and where it does not. However, I believe that IT, together with the innovation department will continue to provide many impulses in this future direction. Of course, the impulse must be to create a visible benefit for the specialist departments. Technology for technology’s sake would be the wrong approach.