During its annual general meeting in Kulmbach Hans Ulrich Gruber was unanimously elected as the new chairman of the Upper Franconian IT Cluster. In this interview he offers an outlook on the future agenda and outlines his vision for the IT Cluster. Next to Hans Ulrich Gruber, Mario Mages, IGZ Bamberg GmbH and Thomas Feike, VLEXsoftware+consulting gmbh were elected chairman.
Congratulations to the position as chairman of the IT Cluster. How did this come about?
Hans Ulrich Gruber: For years I have visited events that were hosted by the IT Cluster. I’ve always been interested in IT topics and enjoyed programming. Additionally, I was the responsible for IT topics in the company I was working in for some time. I think the decisive aspect why I was suggested as a potential chairman is the fact that I have ample experience in leading associations.
For years I was the regional executive of BayME in Upper Franconia whilst also acting as the chairman of concept plus in Munich. Furthermore, I formed part of the board of trustees of the BfM Bayreuth. The former chairman of the IT Cluster was resigning after 12 years and I believe I can continue his good work and set new impulses.
What new stimuli are you and the new executive team planning to give?
Hans Ulrich Gruber: We will continue to position the IT Cluster as the central contact point for IT topics in Upper Franconia. The cluster combines companies and institutions into a specialized regional network. This creates a pool for knowledge and growth from which all involved stakeholders can benefit.
Another task is to strengthen the regional network so that companies know where to find competent IT solution provider that are situated close by. It is not necessary to let someone come from Frankfurt or Munich to handle issues that regional companies can solve as well. This is obvious for companies, they save travel expenses and can count on a person in charge close by.
In your opinion what is currently important for IT companies in Upper Franconia?
Hans Ulrich Gruber: Industry 4.0 und digitization are still the central keywords. The IT processes within companies have an increasingly higher degree of integration. Everything is connected. It is especially important that industrial companies don´t stay behind this trend. Furthermore, service providers are finding it increasingly difficult to hire suitable professionals who speak German.
What can members of the IT Cluster expect this year?
Hans Ulrich Gruber: For members there will be a highlight event and a free workshop with top speakers. Additionally, we are going to organize further networking events. Moreover, we aspire to show “ready to use” best practise examples from member companies. Apart from that we are looking forward to the exchange and collaboration with our members as we want to meet their wishes and requirements.