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Scania’s Cloud First initiative is paradise for developers

31 AUGUST 2017

With a strong focus on the cloud and agile methods, Scania has become something of a paradise for developers. They are inspired by attractive companies for developers that lie at the forefront of a self-organising approach to work.

Scania may build trucks. But the way forward when it comes to gaining market shares is not by building more attractive, larger and more powerful vehicles. Like many others, Scania is investing in a comprehensive portfolio of services, utilising in large part the information flowing in from the 250,000 connected Scania vehicles on roads around the world. Creating something relevant from the large amount of data would be a challenge for any company. A fundamental part of Scania’s investment is a new strategic approach called Cloud First.

Inspired by Spotify

“All new services and systems developed will primarily run on a cloud platform,” explains Mattias Järnhäll. He is responsible for the group that is in charge of the technical aspect of the change, which is called the Cloud Adoption Group. It consists of 15 or so people who create the best possible conditions for, among others, the development teams on the business side of Scania. They can work both faster, and have more independence. Frida Nellros is one of the developers in the developer group that has progressed the furthest. She describes their way of working as a bit like Spotify.

“Thanks to the more specific focus on cloud infrastructure, we are becoming more self-reliant, are able to take greater responsibility and work more organically with other developer groups within the company.”

She talks about infrastructure as code. The cloud model in practice means that they put together the elements required for a particular service or a particular system. All the frameworks are set by the Cloud Adoption Group and then the developers in Frida Nellros’s team have a free hand, to put it simply. It doesn’t just deliver speed and flexibility; it also nourishes creativity.

“The comparison with Spotify is particularly relevant. That is a company we’ve looked at a lot for inspiration,” she says. The overarching motive behind the Cloud First strategy is to be a facilitator for driving innovation within the business. Not only by building and developing cloud platforms for Frida and her colleagues on the business side, but also by freeing up resources within the IT organisation.

Many are attracted to Scania

“If we free up resources, we can assist with innovation for Scania’s business, from our perspective,” explains Mattias.

The cloud initiative has already borne fruit in several ways. In addition to faster and more innovative IT development, many people were attracted to Scania when they saw the opportunities offered here, according to Frida.

“Many of those who were initially at Scania for temporary assignments have chosen to stay. They realise that we are involved in fun things here, and that Södertälje is just 20 minutes away from Stockholm by express train.”