VW's 'Rolling Computers' Need Fresh IT Insight

Volkswagen is building a different kind of IT organization that can bring business and IT together for next-generation car development projects.

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Volkswagen is on the road to building cars infused with intelligence, connectivity and many new and creative capabilities.

Warren Ritchie, CIO of Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Va., calls the next-generation Volkswagen vehicle "a rolling computer."

As part of its effort to develop the new cars, which Ritchie said will include both products and services, Volkswagen is rebuilding its IT organization to make it more integrated with the business side of the company.

The automaker aims to create a vehicle that can sense and diagnose a fault, recommend a fix, check on the availability of a part at a dealer or warehouse, and even offer repair scheduling options to the car owner, Ritchie said at the Forrester Research IT Forum in Las Vegas last month.

The IT operation must play a key role in creating the technology used in the cars, he added.

"A lot of the services that we're envisioning will require access to corporate functionality or corporate data," Ritchie said, noting that IT is needed to create links between the vehicle and back-end corporate systems.

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