Work In Progress: GM's Ongoing Improvements - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Work In Progress: GM's Ongoing Improvements

General Motors has torn down and rebuilt its IT operations, but it still has ongoing home-improvement projects. At the core, the infrastructure remains a work in progress. The automaker runs 290 plants, and it's leveraging a common IT infrastructure by centralizing tasks such as Web applications. "We took out 200 servers in the first half of the year," says Clifton Triplett, GM's information officer for manufacturing and quality. "I'm just getting warmed up."

GM has improved network reliability by deploying diverse access lines into a new high-speed global network and by implementing quality-of-service parameters. "We've gone from a garbage pile to a pretty hardened environment," says Kirk Gutmann, GM's CIO for global product development and service.

A reliable infrastructure is required to handle the complex applications GM operates. For example, it continues to focus on its 3-D virtual-reality computer systems that help engineer cars as well as build them on the production lines. Among other things, engineers are developing simulation capabilities that ultimately will replace physical crash tests.

Collaboration tools help with such efforts. The goal is for all engineers to work on files in instant-messenger mode. So far, GM has 1,700 engineers working this way; about 20,000 more will be added when the project is finished.

Customer-relationship management is another pet project. GM has integrated customer information into a single database that contains data on those who opted for competitors' products as well as those who bought from GM.

GM gets much of this information from the Web: 13 million people visit its sites each month. A newly launched service called My Owner Center lets car owners set up accounts and receive service reminders and tailored information.

To keep customers coming back, GM has improved its dependability on delivery, hitting its promised delivery dates 90% of the time--a figure that GM wants higher. That constant push for more is a way of life for GM's IT executives.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll