If there is an example of digital transformation, it is the one experienced by traditional postal entities. Correos is one of them: it has been able to adapt to the new times and has adopted strategies both in its internal processes and in customer service. We speak with Sergio Peinado, CIO of Grupo Correos.
Interview with Sergio Peinado, CIO of Grupo Correos
In a sector like yours, in which courier and transport companies such as Correos have experienced a boom in the last decade, what has this meant for the ICT department?
Over the last decade, the ICT department has been transformed, adapting to the needs of the Business, transforming itself technologically in the implementation of new technologies and devices, as well as new work methodologies to help the Business areas to develop new services and the evolution of existing ones.
In order to carry out the evolution of the ICT departments, we have made a large financial investment to be in the situation in which we find ourselves at the moment. Among others, the investment in new businesses and the reengineering of our CORE applications, and on the other hand, we have investments in CyberSecurity, new CRM systems, ATC, Analytical Systems and Digital Systems among others.
However, we have to continue maintaining our Business and so we have continued to invest in the maintenance of our applications, our Data Center and our devices.
What has changed the most in that department in recent years?
What has changed the most in recent years is based on several axes, processes, improving existing ones and establishing new ones to improve the productivity of ICT departments, on the other hand, the work methodology with the incursion of Agile and the work of hand in hand with the Business and technology teams with the arrival of new technological architectures oriented towards microservices, the Cloud, virtualization, automation, AI and Big Data, among others.
What has the Correos digitization process consisted of?
Correos is undergoing a full digital transformation, therefore, we continue to build our digitization process, which will mean having the ability to provide public services as we know them that are 100% digital, giving any Spanish citizen the possibility of accessing said services regardless of the town in which you live. From Correos we will provide mixed solutions, whether they are physical in offices or with our postmen, whether they are products that are born digitally and/or the possibility of the physical and digital world is given.
Additionally, we will continue to increase services to help citizens to carry out their procedures, whether they are communication with public administrations, as well as contracting services such as telephony, insurance, payment of bills, payment of taxes, etc.
At the level of CORREOS operations, the automation of operating processes, investments in our processing centers, offices, devices, restructuring of our CORE applications, the use of real-time information for decision-making, international expansion and the diversification of new Businesses we will be able to be positioned in the competitive market that we face.
Lastly, and bearing in mind sustainable development, with the use of electric vehicles, paper reduction and carbon footprint reduction in all the initiatives we undertake.
What do you think are going to be the main challenges in terms of technology that companies in your sector are going to face?
In our Organization we have been working with new technologies for several years, which are currently allowing us to carry out our transformation projects, changing the Technological Architectures and covering the Security requirements that translate into robust and scalable platforms in which they will implement our CORE applications.
It is worth highlighting the platforms that we have set up in public Cloud, such as the Containers, the Data based on Fast Data Architecture, the Digital Services, the APIs and the Analytics.
Additionally, we are working on a sensorization project for our fleet, on the robotization with RPAs of the organization’s processes, and lastly, we have changed our entire Software Architecture, from the front end to the service layer, segregating the functionality of the monoliths towards architectures mic based.
To achieve everything that I have transferred previously, we have made an effort from the DevOps field, with the development of IaC, IC/DC, essential to move to new technologies in the Cloud and of course, it is necessary to change the culture of the teams, as well as the methodology towards Agile models and working in multidisciplinary teams.
What technologies are going to be decisive for the future of Correos?
The trends observed in the sector are the robotization and improvement in the automation of processes, the reduction of deliveries in the last mile, improvement in planning and routes, consolidation and simplification of products, improvement in the traceability of shipments, possibility for customers to select delivery times and possible changes in schedules, etc.
The technologies that will continue to mark the coming years will be the Cloud, AI, IoT, Robotization, Big Data, 5G and EDGE technology, among others, without forgetting that telecommuting will continue to be one of the work options and therefore Digital Workplace technologies will continue to growing.
Is cybersecurity the main problem for companies in general and for Correos in particular?
At Correos we understand Security as an attribute of Correos Products and Services that is essential for generating trust in our customers, especially when we take it to the level of Digital Services. I do not see it, therefore, as a necessary procedure or problem to be solved, but rather a value with which you can make a difference and which, moreover, escapes the more purely technological sphere. In this sense, I chair the Corporate Information Security Committee, where all the necessary Corporate departments are represented to promote this vision of Security and integrate it into all the Organization’s processes.
The Ransomware threat is one of my main concerns. The profitability of this business for cybercriminals and its constant sophistication make it necessary to identify it as a “materializable” threat right now. The trickle of news in which large corporations are affected confirm this. For us it is a priority and we have designed a specific plan to protect ourselves against this threat, in which the entire Company is involved.
In your case, being a customer service company, what is more important, customer-facing digitization or internal digitization among employees?
At Correos we have a great mission, which is to provide solutions to the citizens and companies to which we provide services, therefore, we focus a large part of our efforts on customer-facing digitization, but never losing sight of the need to digitize our employees In order to achieve a better service for our customers, as well as to optimize all internal processes to increase productivity, therefore, digitalization at Correos is global, both customer-oriented and employee-oriented.
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