We are IT. You too?
More than 4,700 IT employees in some 68 countries, with four large cross-functional IT hubs in Germany, the United States, China and Singapore, are the game changers of digital transformation at Bayer. IT is the basis for all of our businesses, and our IT employees are the movers and shakers driving digital innovation at Bayer, across all divisions and functions.
Bringing great ideas to life
Because it is organized as an operating model with a smoothly functioning IT leadership team and strong IT operations, as well as advisory IT Business Partnering for each division, each IT hub and each country IT unit, Bayer IT is able to concentrate on each of its customer's specific requirements.
We have IT operations at 763 sites in 92 countries – with roughly 1.2 trillion emails per year, more than 75,000 smartphones, tablets and hyper-connected employees, 36 productive ERP systems with 137,000 users, and approximately 1,000 transactions per day, to cite just a few examples. In addition, our IT professionals work with flexible, agile technologies on developing new products for patients, physicians, farmers and animals. Expressed in numbers, these achievements include around 700 specialized applications for our R&D and 300 digital projects a year for our Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Crop Science and Animal Health divisions.
Crowdsourcing and coworking are methods used on an everyday basis – after all, our IT colleagues are highly interconnected not only with one another, but also in many innovation initiatives outside of Bayer. This is because we need the best minds to bring the best ideas to life.
What is it that makes our IT colleagues into heroes? Well, they are unbeatable and ingenious when it comes to digital expertise; they are sharply focused at all times; and they bring great passion to the task of creating solutions that ensure a better life for people, plants and animals.
IT areas in focus
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data Science
- Enterprise Architecture
- Integration & Cloud Computing
- IT Security
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) in general has become incorporated into a wide variety of processes at Bayer, along with the various forms of machine and deep learning (ML). One challenge is how to making productive use of the significant amounts of data available to us. Bayer has access to huge troves of data – ranging from information about patients as part of research and development to areas of operations like supply chain or sales and marketing – and we would like to boost its value with the latest information technologies.
The intelligent evaluation of case histories, medications, and diagnoses can contribute to patients being better helped by personalized medicine in the future. In logistics, AI can anticipate supply bottlenecks in order to ensure the delivery of key crop protection products to farmers. Likewise, AI can more precisely predict pest infestations. And our work environment at Bayer can be improved by automating processes. For example, how can new cognitive technologies like speech and image recognition simplify and optimize the interaction between people and systems? We want to offer our employees the latest, most efficient technologies for this.
Our AI labs are bringing together expertise on AI from across the entire group. Doing so supports interaction between our business areas that test and develop concrete applications for special use, interact with external experts, and offer internal training and instruction.
Bayer gives you the opportunity to explore different business requirements. We need both your solid AI expertise and your flexibility in becoming acquainted with various business areas. As an AI and ML expert, you will have the opportunity to work not only in the AI labs and the IT department, but also in areas like Drug Discovery, Pharma, R&D Crop Science, and Engineering & Technology.
You are the intermediary between our business colleagues and the latest technology. For example, if you are heading a project with scientists attempting to identify tumors or cell characteristics, you will ideally have a background in biology or the natural sciences. And whether we are dealing with advanced predictive analytics programs for Finance or driving digitalization for field staff, HR, or plant engineering and construction at our production facilities with AI solutions – the focus is always on the user, and it is our job to create a meaningful bridge between their requirements and artificial intelligence applications.
Artificial intelligence at Bayer – a practical example
Digital assistants for internal business processes are still in their infancy. We are evaluating how they can help our employees with their day-to-day work. How about an assistant who attends meetings, books rooms, and also takes notes? Or an assistant who provides proactive help on trips and automatically rebooks when travel is disrupted? To develop suitable solutions, we have to understand how the algorithms of AI systems function and how they can be meaningfully integrated into our business processes.
In our digital world, data are the decisive raw material for developing new products and services. Bayer has a tremendous amount of data and this translates into fantastic opportunities for Data Science to influence business decision making. Projects range from financial analysis to detect outliers, analyses of biomedical data to find new solutions for patients and the optimization of product supply to evaluating satellite images for digital farming. After all, we need an extremely diverse range of solutions for our different fields of business.
At Data Science, we are true “geeks.” We enjoy using statistical and mathematical tools to make the world a better and more efficient place, turning Bayer into a true digital company. Yet as fascinated as we are by statistics, we always put patients, customers and users at the center of our projects.
Data Science offers you the opportunity to solve complex analytical problems and collaborate closely with a wide range of units throughout Bayer – for example, Corporate Finance, Crop Science, Pharmaceutical Research or Regulatory Affairs. Such a wide range of data science projects is otherwise only found in consulting companies.
You start off as part of a young, dynamic and interdisciplinary team of data scientists, developing and deploying innovative analytical solutions. This then opens the door to many different attractive positions across all Bayer divisions. The Data Science function aims to get things done and is highly focused on creating tangible value. In this respect you can expect to be challenged but also rewarded with great career opportunities across all Bayer divisions.
Data science at Bayer – a case study
Producing goods and meeting market demand efficiently and without waste is an extremely difficult task. The Data Science team engaged recently with a production site to optimize the packaging scheduling. Within a couple of months we built a simulation tool to run “what-if” scenarios that both facilitated more efficient production and saved several workdays every month.
If you want to work in IT at Bayer, you will be able to appreciate just how much IT we have here. Our international information and software architecture is extremely complex, and the Enterprise Architecture (EA) group leads the effort to ensure continuous increased digitalization of our life science business. This includes how we use new technologies and flexible and interactive systems with lean processes to deliver innovation in our fields of expertise to market. We maintain oversight of the entire IT architecture at Bayer and direct the streamlined, continuous and secure integration of digital and conventional IT domains as well as the retirement of old applications.
Our work begins with translating our business strategy into IT architecture and continues with extrapolating and developing concepts for our business units and implementing concrete solutions. Our responsibilities include the decentralized roll-out of new applications and the shift toward increasingly shorter intervals for software releases as well as shutting down and decommissioning old systems. We identify and evaluate new technological trends and provide support with our architecture community in the business areas with the help of guidelines, best practices and training in using new IT applications.
Your Start in Enterprise Architecture
Due to the size of our company, at Bayer we differentiate between central enterprise architecture management, domain management for organizational units such as Marketing & Sales and Research & Development, and solution architecture. Since the three levels of EA require completely different skills and experience, interesting growth and development opportunities are available for both recent graduates and experienced specialists.
With a few years of experience, consider a career in domain management for Marketing & Sales or Research & Development. You can build bridges between the overarching Enterprise Architecture management team, which is responsible for comprehensive strategies, and the solution architects who focus on the resources and techniques for implementing tactical solutions to business-related IT requirements. We generally work very closely with one another. Above all, we are looking for serious team players with advanced analytical skills who can make sense of complex relationships and abstract specifications and transform them into concrete tasks.
Enterprise Architecture at Bayer – a practical example
Domain Management at Marketing & Sales wants new, technical forms of dialogue with our customers, including pharmacies, physicians and farmers. We are looking for new, innovative solutions and are making specific recommendations to the divisions. It is essential that we precisely understand the business requirements and work closely with the business and solution architects to answer such questions as: What can we achieve in what time frame with what level of effort? What already exists at Bayer that could be adapted or enhanced?
Integration & Cloud Computing
Speeding up clinical trials with artificial intelligence, bringing in better harvests with less crop protection thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), maintaining highly complex production facilities more securely and more efficiently with augmented reality. The future of our life science business relies on us using and continuing to develop new digital solutions that improve life on Earth. In Digital Foundation & Integration, it’s our job to make these largely cloud-based services available to the Group worldwide.
In essence, it’s up to us to listen very closely, understand the requirements of our customers in the pharmaceutical and crop protection businesses, and then design specific IT solutions. This involves using agile working methods such as Scrum, building interdepartmental teams and developing work packages together. Some of our day-to-day tasks include, for instance, creating user interfaces for a positive user experience, writing data models, establishing secure connections to cloud services, expanding analytical services and enhancing our own data with big data to increase the accuracy of claims.
You will work on specific projects with colleagues from both IT and the business. This kind of close collaboration is what makes starting at Bayer so interesting. Because we work on interdisciplinary projects, we value wide-ranging skill sets, such as those held by mathematicians, engineers, natural scientists and technicians with in-depth or specific expertise in IT. That said, we’re also happy to hear from IT specialists with backgrounds in R&D, marketing or engineering. A sound understanding of IT infrastructures, such as Active Directory, firewalls, proxies, gateways and new technologies such as container and API management is an advantage. Bayer also helps its employees build on their wide-ranging expertise when it comes to their personal development.
Typical job profiles in this field include cloud service manager, cloud architect, IT project manager and application manager. As a career starter, you will initially be working on projects with experienced colleagues. Your interdisciplinary skills will then allow you to lead larger projects on your own, to switch from an R&D IT project to R&D in Pharmaceuticals or Crop Science, or even take on different roles within the Group.
Integration & Cloud Computing at Bayer – a case study
We monitor plants using a range of cameras fitted with various optical sensors (e.g. infrared, UV), and apply contrast media to enhance the plants’ characteristics. This allows us to make precise, time-resolved recordings of how the plants grow and identify the factors that influence this process. We then build on this work, deriving optimization approaches for the evaluation, developing them into optimization procedures and then automating them using state-of-the-art cloud technologies.
At Bayer, innovations are our passion. And we must safeguard them against loss, malfunctions and cybercrime. That’s why security is one of the most crucial areas of our activities in IT, where an array of challenges await you. For example, model-based solutions in the cloud are increasingly being used to develop new active ingredients for medications or crop protection. And joint research with other companies in hybrid cloud partner networks poses particular challenges for IT security. Employees expect seamless data exchange, regardless of the location they are working from. All this requires secure and practicable solutions.
So, in the area of IT security you will work closely together with research and development, product supply, and marketing and sales experts from our Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science divisions. At the same time, our exacting standards make us a driving force behind the developments of leaders in technology.
Most of our IT security experts start out their careers on one of our development teams, which implement our solutions. This will allow you to become familiar with our business on a variety of cross-division and cross-functional projects in an international environment.
This experience will equip you for jobs in many fields. You can become a proven expert in one or more specialty areas in IT security, for example in software-defined infrastructure, cybersecurity or security by design. You may take on responsibility for entire IT architecture segments, or lead teams working on demanding international IT security projects.
IT Security at Bayer – a case study
Migraine headaches can often put people out of action for hours. In order to have a desired effect on these painful attacks, it is particularly important to take migraine medication at the right time. With this in mind, Bayer Pharma collaborated with colleagues from IT to develop a solution that relies on stress hormones to enable a migraine sufferer to detect the onset of an attack. The solution uses sensors placed on the patient’s skin to transmit signals to their smartphone. Then the person receives a notification indicating whether it is advisable to take a medication. Taking the medication in time makes it possible to greatly reduce the duration of the migraine and the pain involved.
Be part of the future with Bayer!
As Digital Health Innovation Manager, Ulf Hengstmann is an interface between the IT, Pharmaceutical and CropScience Research & Development worlds. In his blog post, he tells his personal, very exciting career story and the benefits that digital transformation can bring to our healthcare system.
Project management benefits from a wide variety of viewpoints
Roman Prczewlofsky is from Berlin and works in project management as part of the IT marketing and sales team at Bayer. After completing his studies in economics, he worked for nine years at a consulting firm, after which he spent three years working freelance for an aid organization. During this time, he learned how to run projects in a whole host of areas. Learn more on the Bayer Career Blog.
The IT three: The doctoral candidate
Sebastian Dorok is in the final stages of his doctoral process. To put it very simply, it’s about the processing and analysis of extremely large data volumes such as those generated in scientific research. In his thesis, which he is completing at the university in Magdeburg, Sebastian Dorok is being supported by Bayer. Read on the Bayer Career Blog, what he appreciates about this cooperation.
The IT three: The manager
Karsten Tittmann has worked in IT at Bayer for many years, and regularly supervises doctoral and postdoctoral students in his function. In a triangle linking Sebastian Dorok, Horstfried Läpple and himself he coordinates everything from the company’s perspective. Read on the Bayer Career Blog, what makes cooperations of this kind important for Bayer and what he likes most in his job in the Bayer-IT.
The IT three: The advisor
Horstfried Läpple is a “BaySEN”. That means he is part of the Bayer Senior Experts Network: even after his retirement, he is supporting his former colleagues in Group-wide projects with his wealth of experience and expertise. He also advised Sebastian Dorok within the scope of BaySEN. Read on Bayer Career Blog, what it means for him, still being able to work for Bayer and what he likes to advise and pass to young people.