Andriy Shyshka

Andriy Shyshka

How much IT can you put into a chainsaw? It sounds almost like an opening to a traditionally-inappropriate joke that my Bulgarian friend, Hristo, would make on a Saturday night. Yet, this very question was circling around in my head early April morning, spring 2014, when I arrived to the Husqvarna Group office in Huskvarna, Sweden to be interviewed by the CIO Martin Althén. I wasn’t wondering much about traditional, enterprise IT. Clearly, a company as vast as the Husqvarna Group would require a mature IT infrastructure to operate worldwide.

To someone like me, majoring in IT innovation management, the crucial point was the ability to deliver cutting-edge products with embodied digital experiences. I needed a clear innovation agenda, a vision; and Martin was the right person to ask. Just a few hours later, all my questions were answered.

I’m from Ukraine and if you like me, are not a Swede, the name Husqvarna might make you think of forestry, construction or gardening equipment – some of the current generation products. However, here in the north, an average Swedish home will tell you about Husqvarna’s history just as much as the company’s museum. From rifles, sewing machines, kitchen equipment all the way to chainsaws, watering and robots (big and small) – all of these find their place on the product timeline. If companies would have DNA, the Husqvarna Group’s would be all about adopting to market needs, changing radically and innovating continuously – this is something the company has been doing successfully throughout 325 years.

However, there is no time to sit still. Yet another challenge is coming: connectivity and digitalization, which have been affecting our world as long as I can remember. It took decades to bring all the business transactions on-line, several years to get people linked to the social media and now we are seeing how ordinary objects become smart, context-aware and connected, bridging the boundary between physical and digital spaces. I believe that Internet of Things (IoT) will become the next giant leap for our industry by reshaping business models, changing the way people use our products, adding features and services you could only dream of. This change is what the Husqvarna Group acknowledges and is ready to embrace. Nevertheless, harnessing the opportunity brought by connectivity and digitalization will require more than an R&D investment. It calls for a new generation of leaders who are innovative, open-minded and who, at the same time, are trained with the company’s core values in mind, dedicated to its mission. This is where Global Trainees, including me, come into play.

It has been over six months since my traineeship started. As you might have already noticed, I believe I can make an impact during this two-year period and I’ve been given the opportunity to do so. My first assignment was within the Strategy and Architecture (S&A) team in Huskvarna to support the Enterprise Architecture (EA) and different innovation activities. I began by assisting with an application portfolio management initiative. This gave me a clear understanding of the vast application landscape powering enterprise systems of the Husqvarna Group and, at the same time, common problems that S&A team has to face. The next was training and certification in TOGAF – a must-known framework for every EA practitioner, followed by codifying a business process framework and establishing corresponding relations to the application portfolio within EA repository. Then it was time to tackle the innovation agenda. For several months, I’ve been involved in a concept project around an indoor positioning system. My contribution found its place in all stages: from gathering requirements to the straight software development. After participating in an Internet of Things forum last November, I started to get involved more and more with the connectivity domain. Currently, I support the newly established Digital Solutions and Services department with the evaluation of technologies and platforms that will become the backbone for the Group’s connected products and customer-facing IT offerings.

My experience as Global Trainee has been extremely rewarding so far, but there is another aspect of my journey as a trainee that deserves separate attention: people; they are the most valuable asset the Group possesses. If you appreciate a diverse international environment, enjoy an atmosphere of trust, and you are ready to take on new challenges, you will feel at home working at the Husqvarna Group. This is the place where your coworkers can easily become your friends. Seriously, we are all that cool.

Although my current assignment is not over yet, my thoughts are starting to drift away to the next one. The assignment will be based in Ulm, Germany, working directly with product management and development at the Gardena Division. This is an area rather unfamiliar to me, but from what I’ve heard not less exciting. I’m looking forward to getting outside my comfort zone once more and build new long-lasting business relationships that will help me support the Husqvarna Group’s business goals during my journey as Global Trainee.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Andriy Shyshka
IT Trainee
Global Information Services
Huskvarna, Sweden