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Björn Goerke – A Chat with Our New CTO

Reading Time: 4 Minutes 18.10.2022 Currents & Trends

What's the motivation of our new Chief Technology Officer, and what does this mean for proALPHA?

Goerke-Björn Since October 1, Björn Goerke has held the position of CTO at proALPHA. The passionate software developer studied Informatics and first came to SAP when he was still at school ‒ he wasn't even familiar with that name back then. He ended up staying with SAP for 30 years, most recently in the position of CTO of the whole company. After that, he went to VW subsidiary Cariad.

The most important thing he learnt at his last stop is how the success or failure of a business depends on culture. His next stop is proALPHA. Check out the interview to find what brought him here and what his plans for proALPHA are.

Hi, Björn! Welcome on board. Why don't you start by telling us what brought you to proALPHA?

Many things have brought me to proALPHA for sure. In the end, I'm an "enterprise software kid": I've always been amazed by technology that helps customers become more successful with their business. I love programming myself, and during my sabbatical, I went back to the roots and dealt more with technology-related stuff again. It's a lot of fun and my absolute passion.

What sparked your interest in the end?

What strikes me most about proALPHA is how many experts get together here. Not just at the core company, but also in all the group companies that now make up the overall portfolio. I believe this is an important basis to further boost growth in the next phase, to make the various products more innovative, and above all to push the integration of the overall applications to make them even more attractive to customers.

What kind of boss are you?

Oh, I can be a very strict boss, but basically I'm a person who likes to work in a team. It really depends on how the people are. What I'm looking forward to is working with the teams, work-ing with the people, changing processes and advancing our product together. I really hope that we as a team have an open mindset and the will to take on these changes. There's so much to learn and I'm very excited about this. And all the other stuff, product and technology ‒ we'll get that right, too.

What will your tasks be as the CTO?

I'll mostly deal with technology and the product. That's the things I'm passionate about. To be honest, I also expect to have A LOT to do across organizational borders, to bring together teams from development, product management, service, support and sales, and to revise some processes. All of this to make sure that our product, which is still being delivered to the custo-mers' premises most of the time, finds its way to the cloud.

What's your conclusion after two years of pandemic: do you prefer to work from home or at the office?
I'm part of a generation that likes to work in the office and meet other people there. I'd like to find the right balance between efficiency at home and effectiveness at the office ‒ hopefully together with many other colleagues. What the future will bring upon us is a very tricky questi-on. I'll first have to learn a lot about the products of proALPHA in detail.
In your opinion, what's the next big thing in technology?

I'm convinced that it doesn't take a new super-technology. Quite the contrary: it's more im-portant to start with the customers; to see what challenges they're facing and what they need. And then find out what technologies meet these requirements. Then we'll decide together in what direction to head and how to get there.
Any final words?
I don't do famous last words. If anything, it should be famous first words. As I've already said, I'm super excited to get to know the whole proALPHA team and the company. I can't wait to find out what's waiting here for me and to get started.

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