Productivity is a core focus area at Praxair. To become more efficient and productive, we must ensure that efficiency gains and productivity ideas are replicated in all of the countries in which we operate. When I took on the role of CIO, we had many IT systems that were specific to the countries in which they were located, making it impossible to replicate solutions quickly across the company. As we developed the global architecture and defined the business transformation programs, it became imperative for us to establish shared services across the IT services organization through the use of global delivery functions, namely global infrastructure services, global application services, and global program services. Quickly, we demonstrated that with absolute operating discipline and being focused on delivery, we could drive significant value and services throughout the company.
Another way IT services has allowed us to increase efficiency is through the use of mobile technology. We found that our non-office-bound employees were losing a lot of time retrieving materials and completing administrative tasks and other processes. If field technicians needed to make repairs or modifications to our infrastructure, they would need to access diagrams, log changes in inventory, and complete work orders, sometimes extending their work to the next day. With the mobile applications we’ve implemented, we can put all of the information employees might need directly in their hands, so they can complete their tasks efficiently and effectively while working remotely.
Similarly, we’ve published our desktop environment to all of our users, so employees don’t need to come to the office just to get access to their applications and data. It’s been a huge win for us in terms of efficiency and productivity, and also increased data security. By driving consistency in platforms and providing access to both applications and data, we’ve been able to share productivity and automation ideas around the world and are seeing the benefits everywhere.