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Hanging out with ... Oliver Sax

Oliver Sax

What is your job at Helvetia?

I am responsible for the IT architecture and support large strategic projects with my teams. We define the target architecture and the specifications that the projects must meet. This helps to ensure that each project can successfully make its contribution to the implementation of the Helvetia strategy.

A second important activity is in managing the Helvetia architecture. We use our domain model to develop target visions for the whole of Helvetia from which we derive general principles, standards and specifications. These are important architectural components for the solution architects in our community when introducing or developing solutions geared to the future.

We aim to transform Helvetia through the strategic projects and are working with architecture management to build the structures that are important to the future of Helvetia.

The value contribution by architecture presents itself in a variety of dimensions:
we create the architectural context for others to test new technologies and work methods quickly and simply. We create transparency in the current application landscape in order to be able take transformation measures in good time. We present the target vision in order to be able to prioritize projects and plans.

What excites you about this?

The architect profile is already a challenge in itself! Architects need to have broad knowledge of Helvetia while also drawing on key technical competencies and leadership skills. They must be able to communicate with developers and colleagues in operations as well as members of the Group executive board.

We can work in exciting strategic areas such as our integration architecture (ICC, interplay of SO A/Kafka, synergies between service and data integration) or our new cloud strategy.

Where do you see challenges?

One great challenge lies in the modernization of the Enterprise Architecture (EA) processes. Until recently these were rather slow with regard to monthly adjustments and the release of detailed specifications. This doesn't work any more in a time of continuous delivery. With DevOps and agile teams it is no longer possible to implement the typical EA processes in the conventional way.

We therefore have to make local architecture decisions within projects and rely on our architecture community to ensure that we stay aligned with our IT strategy and target visions.

What do you expect of your work?

Before all else, I expect new ways of working, faster and pragmatic attempts in the sense of fail & learn as well as a learning organization. Personally, I strive for the simplest possible solutions to achieve objectives quickly. Transparency is particularly important to me as it makes our day-to-day work easier. Where ever possible, I like to work with open systems.

What does "&Go" mean in your daily work?

I really value the fact that experimentation is encouraged and supported in the form of proofs of concept, prototypes and hackathons. As a department we also push some technical transformation ourselves, for instance by setting up our public cloud platform and defining our cloud strategy. To do this, we ourselves also need to be courageous to implement the best solutions for Helvetia in strategic projects and to encourage colleagues in IT and the specialist units to experiment.

What motivates you personally?

Agility and excellence! I have been working with agile methods since the early days and believe it is the best approach for addressing and promoting change.

As for excellence: if a topic interests me, I like to dive deeply into it to understand how it works.


With Helvetia since:



Head of Architecture Unit

Professional background:

  • Head of Architecture Unit since 2017
  • Focus on architecture and EAM since 2013
  • Qualified Engineer, Project Leader, Software Architect and Developer for NL/PV and SpL solutions until 2013

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