Brigitte Falk: A Doyen of Management in the IT Industry Leading by Example
A prominent personality in the international IT Industry, One such Success Stories of Female Entrepreneurs, Brigitte Falk is setting a striking instance of impactful leadership. Brigitte brings 25 years of management experience in the IT industry to the table. Currently, she is serving as CIO and COO at a IIoT software company FORCAM, with a strong focus on the innovation environment, digitalization, and agile working methods.
Brigitte started her professional career in 1996 at SAP as Product Manager Oil and Gas. During her tenure over, she worked in corporate development, innovation management and event management. In 2004, she took over the Business Operations department as Marketing Director. Having worked for several years there was a substantial learning experience accompanied by management & leadership techniques, innovation methodologies, product management know-how, intercultural and interdisciplinary teams.
“Where others see “just the horizon”, I see infinite possibilities.”
After graduating with Malik MZSG Executive Diploma, Brigitte Falk founded the Simplicity Company to support consulting firms, analysts and investment banks with strategic consulting worldwide. In 2014, she took over global responsibility for Marketing & Sales Applications at Celesio AG (today McKesson Europe). In 2017, she was appointed Division Lead Organization & Information of CRONIMET Holding GmbH.
Brigitte’s interdisciplinary studies of arts, humanities, and natural sciences, complemented by an open spirit, are the foundation of where she is today. She inculcates strategic thinking through work with venture capitalist in a startup environment, followed by taking on European ecommerce IT assignment in a challenging environment. Her achievements have been reflected over the last three years as “CIO of the year 2018” (CIO Magazine Germany), “CIO of the year 2019” (Bonhill — Women in IT Awards Europe), and “CIO of the Decade 2020 Germany” (Confare & EY).
Customer Centric Approach
FORCAM FORCE™ is the first turnkey and manufacturer — independent IT platform for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The company’s claim that it delivers results in productivity remains a solid foundation since its establishment in 2001. Almost two decades ago, FORCAM celebrated its debut and first deployment at Mercedes-Benz. The iconic automobile company has since celebrated many accolades, including the “Factory of the Year” award in 2007, 2008, and 2012. The most recent award in 2020 is the Manufacturing Leadership Partner Award by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Since then, the company has evolved into a comprehensive IIoT solution partner with a high-performance manufacturing 4.0 platform and a vital ecosystem. Today, its turnkey and freely extensible cloud platform is used by large and medium-sized companies including Lockheed Martin Audi, BMW, BorgWarner, Daimler, KUKA, Pratt & Whitney, Schaeffler, Swarovski and many more. Today, more than 100,000 machines are monitored with FORCAM technology worldwide.
Having Brigitte at the helm, the company is about to launch two new IIoT product lines by introducing “Customer centricity” as guiding principle. They are based on
- market gap: connecting supposedly “non-connectable” older brownfield machines to the internet (FORCAM FORCE EDGE) and leverage their data potential and
- the need for fast, easy and low-cost connection of production lines of SMEs or smaller subsidiaries to the internet (FORCAM FORCE SaaS)
A Culture Change to be Adopted
According to Brigitte, to embrace full power of AI, companies must show openness towards disruptive business models and the respective digital transformation across all parts of the business. They should unlock the hidden potential of their current staff, encourage them to take on bigger tasks beyond their usual level of comfort, agile principles (inspect and adapt), and take related responsibility.
Besides, it is also important to attract and retain tech talents. She mentions that for companies, it takes a bold vision, creation of jobs for people from tech background based on their ambitions and strengths, and encompassing empowerment to attract and retain tech talents.
Thought Leadership in the IIoT Domain
Currently, Brigitte is focusing her energy to market the FORCAM solution portfolio geared towards real-time datadriven decision making on the shopfloor, grid connectivity and machine data lake offerings as foundation. Now, all her efforts are in the direction to drive vision and thought leadership in the IIoT domain.
Besides, Brigitte keeps herself updated with the latest technological trends by reading, meeting, talking with an outmost heterogeneous, interdisciplinary audience and network from all over the world. She also keeps openness for inspirations from unusual sources beyond the mainstream.
A Take on Sound Leadership
When asked about essential traits every business leader should possess, Brigitte is of the opinion that every leader should focus on empowerment. They should always put strategic thinking and innovation into practice for every decision they take and communicate a related vision with everyone. A sound leader is one who leads by example, builds on trust, integrity & transparency, and actively listens.