ImmobilienScout - Balancing flexibility and control

André Nawojan, Head of Corporate IT, Immobilien Scout
André Nawojan, Head of Corporate IT, Immobilien Scout

The online property portal ImmobilienScout24 is growing – and so is the internal demand for IT services. IT boss André Nawojan is benchmarking the company’s resources and performance.

The number of users, the demands on corporate IT services, the variety of equipment - all are on the increase. “And so, therefore, is the workload of the IT staff,” says André Nawojan, Head of Corporate IT at Berlin-based Immobilien Scout GmbH. Currently supported by 16 specialist staff, for a good twelve years Nawojan has looked after the in-house IT needs of the internet business. Now officially part of Deutsche Telekom, the company has retained the spirit of independence it had as a start-up. Around 500 users at Immobilien Scout’s HQ access services for ERP, document management, the intranet and office programmes.

So does Corporate IT consume too many resources? Quite the opposite, thought Nawojan, but he didn’t want to take any risks and so tested his gut feeling against the hard facts of a benchmark. “I was sure we needed to recruit, but the benchmark proved we were at least two staff light for our workload,” he says, referring to the main conclusion of the performance comparison undertaken by Maturity. The analysis covered client services, server operations, storage, user helpdesk, data centre and office LAN as well as IT processes.

Nawojan sought objective results calculated by an external body. And the outcome? “We needed action if we were to safeguard the quality of services and operations.” And what if the result had been any different? “While we’re not immune to surprises, in the end the gap was, to some extent, even bigger than I had imagined,” the qualified civil engineer recalls.

IT benchmark and staff survey

As well as providing support for internal discussion with management, however, the benchmark and staff survey also unearthed immediate potential for improvement. Nawojan highlighted, for example, a lack of transparency on the service desk and the provisioning process for client hardware: “We’ve been able to work on it step by step, and that’s helped us to move forward.” In addition, says Nawojan, benchmarking threw up the question of whether, in some areas such as server operations, Corporate IT provides “too individual and too flexible” a response to business requirements and consequently makes life hard for itself.

As a rule, reducing flexibility brings long-term savings. The corporate culture, however, also needs to be considered: “Although we’re no longer a start-up, as an internet company our requirements are absolutely different from corporate groups.” What Nawojan calls the “veritable zoo of systems”, which includes the now obligatory iPad for Sales & Marketing, brings him at least one personal benefit: “Every day brings a new and interesting challenge.”

Download the case study IT benchmark at ImmobilienScout24 as a PDF file

Go back