For many, Ferrari represents the pinnacle of motoring. Whether it is the Italian manufacturer’s iconic road cars, or Scuderia Ferrari, the most successful team in Formula 1 history, the name represents luxury, class and intricate car design.
But for Vittorio Boero, CIO of Ferrari’s automotive division and its Formula 1 team, complexity is something he is trying to drive out of the organisation’s IT infrastructure.
“We would like to dramatically decrease the number of applications we have and to standardise the solutions as much as possible,” he told Computing, adding that the standardisation programme should be completed within five years.
“At the end of implementing our programme, the idea is to have four or five main areas all covered by the same solutions.
“The main benefit for ICT will be to simplify our applications in order to simplify management tasks and to reduce running costs. The idea is also to implement some new business processes in parallel with the ICT solution,” he said.
Things have moved quickly since the strategy was established last year, with a new ERP solution having already been implemented. Fiat-owned Ferrari has traditionally operated a SAP ERP solution, but Boero has replaced it with Infor LN.
“We executed a comparison between the different options available and selected Infor LN because the idea was to have a smooth transition to accompany the implementation of our new IT strategy,” he said, adding a seamless migration of all data from the old ERP system to the new was essential.
Boero was also attracted to the flexibility of Infor LN, with the ERP solution provider able to rapidly implement features tailored to Ferrari’s specific needs. “We do not need to wait for a new big release... [Enhancements can be] implemented in a very short time,” he said.
Cost was another factor in the switch, Boero added.
On the hardware side, Boero’s determination to keep things as simple as possible means Ferrari sources most of its devices from one company: Samsung.
“We selected Samsung for our PCs, laptops, desktops and even smartphones” he said.
But the South Korean company doesn’t have a complete monopoly, as Ferrari often has to turn to other suppliers in order to meet more high-end technical requirements.
“We have some technical stations that are supplied by Dell, for example. We sometimes have to go out to the market to fill a specific niche, especially in the R&D department,” Boero explained.
That said, Boero’s instinct is always to explore the market and then standardise on “the best possible solution”.
In the case of smartphones, that solution was deemed to be the Android OS running on Samsung hardware.