Bosch Exec Shares Why Data and Connectivity Are Major Trends in Security
Bosch’s Tanja Rueckert covers everything from the importance of not standing in your own way, to how to define success in this month’s SECURE Perspectives column.
SECURE Perspectives is a monthly column by the Security Industry Association (SIA) profiling women in the security industry. This column is part of SIA’s Women in Security Forum, an initiative to support the participation of women in the security field through programs, professional development and networking events.
For this edition of SECURE Perspectives, SIA spoke with Tanja Rueckert, president of the board of management for Bosch Building Technologies. Tanja holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in the software industry. She is passionate about topics like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation.
How did you get into the security industry?
I am quite new to the industry. Before I started in my current role at Bosch in August 2018, I worked in the software industry for more than 20 years. In my latest role, I was president of the IoT and digital supply chain business unit at SAP SE. I am very passionate about IoT, digital transformation and other important topics like AI. I think there are significant opportunities for digital transformation in the security, building and construction industries as well as in related segments.
This was one of the reasons I was happy to join Bosch Building Technologies — to apply my knowledge from my previous role regarding IoT, AI, analytics and more and combine it with Bosch’s outstanding domain expertise and superior hardware. The goal is to provide one comprehensive solution, combining hardware, software and service solutions that truly generate customer and user value and go beyond “silo” optimization.
Further, I am looking forward to adding the part of “things” within IoT now — an aspect that was not as present for me working in the software industry. Within security, we have the opportunity to bring all aspects of IoT and digitization together — the hardware, the software, the data and new technologies like AI — and offer valuable end-to-end solutions to our customers. It is very exciting to be a part of this!
How does your organization serve the industry?
Bosch’s building technologies division is a leading global supplier of innovative security, safety and communications products, comprehensive integrated solutions and related services. Protecting lives, buildings and assets is our major aim. Our product portfolio includes video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire detection and voice evacuation systems as well as access control and management systems and is rounded off with professional audio and conference systems for the transmission of voice, sound and music. Related value-added services for our customers, like security as a service, remote monitoring and in-store analytics for retailers complete the offering.
What is your current role?
I am president of the board of management for Bosch Building Technologies. In this role, I am focusing on strategy, technology and innovation and business development in close collaboration with our customers and partners.
What types of job functions do women fill in your company? Is there diversity of roles in your company, or do women gravitate towards certain job functions?
Within the building technologies division, women work in all functions, including engineering, product management, marketing and sales, HR and management functions. In the technical functions, like research and development and product management, we still have higher ambitions regarding diversity and will focus on key initiatives to further increase it.
With more and more data that shows diversity makes a better workforce, what opportunities do you see for women in the security industry? What impediments do you see for achieving this? What could remedy some of these impediments?
First of all, the topic of diversity and inclusion is critical for the success of every company — and it is broader than gender. Diverse input from different generations, cultures, backgrounds, mindsets, gender and more are the foundation for creativity, which is driving innovation.
I personally believe that diverse teams are far more successful and that women in a group bring different ideas and perspectives to the table. Having this open atmosphere — and ultimately having diversity itself — often is a catalyst for a lot of fun within a team, which in turn is important for motivation and success. I think many companies within several industries have recognized these benefits now.
In addition, there is always a need for top-qualified people in different fields — or even a shortage of them — especially in tech companies, which is why I believe that there are many good opportunities for well-qualified women within this industry.
What do you see as important technology trends in the security industry?
First, digitization and the availability of data. Every device is a sensor. We gain a lot of information from analyzing collected data, which creates additional benefits for our customers and end users and supports them in their daily lives. One example: Cloud-based services like Bosch In-Store Analytics provide retailers with valuable insights on store traffic for improving operations, customer engagement and sales; this service uses data generated by intelligent cameras to provide detailed information on how shoppers move throughout a store and interact with the displays.
Second, connectivity. I believe this trend is underestimated. It’s about connecting not only devices and products, but also people and businesses. It’s also collaboration and partnerships between companies. For the security industry, this brings new business models like security as a service and many more opportunities like offering integrated, cross-domain solutions to our customers and end users.
When it comes to buildings, I also see the trend of sustainability and, as a consequence, the increasing need for energy efficiency in buildings, which means building automation and building control systems, but also energy consultancy plays an increasing role.
Finally, in a more and more globalized, digital and virtual world, security itself becomes increasingly important with regard to data and cybersecurity but also physical security. People search for peace of mind, and the security industry plays an important role to meet this need.
What do you hope the Women in Security Forum can achieve for the security industry?
I am excited that the Women in Security Forum will be engaging the security industry, both women and men, to support the participation of more women in the industry through programs, professional development and networking events. I am looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish!
What advice would you give women who are in the industry?
Get visible! Act as a role model, and don’t be afraid to talk about your capabilities and successes. Trust in yourself and your abilities, and do not overdo it when it comes to perfectionism — don’t stand in your own way.
Further, I believe we as women in this industry should support each other, build networks and get connected. As a group, we can achieve more than one woman can by herself.
Who or what was the strongest influence in your career (e.g. a mentor, an event that inspired your career decision)? How do you define success?
During my career, I have been lucky enough to meet several great and inspiring people who supported me along the way with good advice and by opening doors.
What was and certainly is a big influence on my career is my family — especially our children. If you want to spend time with your family and have a successful career, you must have a clear focus and set the right priorities. You never have time to do everything. That is something I try to live by in my working life — by focusing on topics that create the highest value for our customers and have the most impact for our company.
Business success for me is very much customer- and people-related. I want to create value for our customers and business results above expectations for our company by driving innovation with a highly motivated and engaged team.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I have to admit it is my ongoing challenge to balance family and work life and, at the same time, stay in touch with close friends. I attempt this by being absolutely focused. When I am at work, I am fully concentrating on my role. When I arrive at home, I try to ignore my mobile (at least partially!) and focus on being a wife and a mother.
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