Behind the scenes: Jyotin Shah - Senior Vice President Global Infrastructure at FDT

Jyotin Shah has held the role of Senior Vice President Global Infrastructure of Fresenius Digital Technology (FDT) since 1 March 2022. He has full responsibility for the Global Infrastructure department. With a background in consumer-packaged goods, and lots of experience in different roles in infrastructure, he sees his team as the driver of productivity, security, and agility for the whole Fresenius Group. He brings an entirely new and fresh approach. What has changed since he joined? What are the most important projects that he is in charge of? What does he expect from his team, and why does he describe himself as “transformational”? The interview shows what Jyotin has to say on all these topics and more.


Global infrastructure is an exciting field to work in because technology is constantly improving and is being reinvented every day.

What has changed since you took over responsibility from Bernhard Nolte, the former head of Global Infrastructure? And what has changed – so far – as a result of the transformation?

A lot! CIO Ingo Elfering has set an ambitious vision for Group IT, has taken some bold transformation decisions, and has mobilized hundreds of people to move towards a different way of working. In a nutshell, we are moving in the direction of a modern, architecture-led and futureproof organization which will change the entire outlook of Fresenius.

The current buzzword in infrastructure is modernization. Infrastructure technology totally re-invents itself every seven to ten years. If you don’t make any progress, then you end up sitting on so-called technical debt – devices that are slow and painful to use, cost more to maintain and repair, and cause a frustrating user experience, not to mention create major security threats. You can see this with smartphones – you can’t even update them after a few years.

Our current modernization and transformation journey is going to bring us up to the next generation of technology and to standards that we can keep using for the next ten years. Then, in those ten years, it will all be reinvented again. It’s an exciting area to work in because technology is constantly evolving. We need to evolve with it and make the right investments now so we can keep up with the competition.

What are the most important projects you are responsible for?

One of our key initiatives is the cloud migration project, a massive technological step forward for Fresenius. The overarching vision is that we will shut down all our data centers and move all our SAP and non-SAP applications to the cloud.

At the same time, we are laying the foundations to bring all new applications directly into the cloud. So, the transformation is not just about moving data, but also about getting the organization cloud ready. We need to think “cloud first.”

The second large initiative is the network project, which also sits under the banner of harmonization and modernization. We currently buy network bandwidth through different contracts and lot of different providers in different countries, and it is all based on 10-year-old technology. We really needed to act.

Over the course of this network project, we are moving towards Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) security and SD WAN, or software-defined wide area networks. This will enable us to prioritize and control network usage. As an example, Microsoft Teams has top priority on the network, as it is responsible for the most time-sensitive traffic. Buying guaranteed connectivity in bulk from just one provider also increases efficiency.

The outcome: stabler connections, better network protection, simple maintenance, and support, 24/7 monitoring and greater control, more productivity, and reduced costs.

The concept of a super-productive user is another objective. Whether you are at home or in the office, user experience and productivity are key! Secure access and infrastructure are another important outcome that give us peace of mind. The third and final result is higher speed and agility – because we have created a powerful framework. It means that when we next acquire a company, we will be able to connect them in days instead of months as is currently the case.

We treat all relevant topics with full trust and transparency. When we see issues, we combat them.

Looking ahead, what will be your department’s main responsibilities in the coming months, and what kind of employees do you need to achieve them?

Right now, we have a strong workforce that is technically powerful. In terms of mindset, I need people who aren’t scared of change and who are happy to reinvent themselves and their jobs. I’m building a constantly learning, self-motivated team, and one which is basically moving at the same speed that our industry is evolving.

In terms of job roles, there will be a need for more management expertise. So, from a core skills point of view, we need experts in financial management, service management, customer relationship and stakeholder management, project management, and architecture & strategy. In other words, we need people who can manage our significant partnerships with our strategic vendors and drive transformation.

What do you like best about working for Fresenius FDT, and what sets us apart from others?

Our leadership team is both diverse and talented and we’re on a very exciting journey. As a company, there is a lot of hidden potential in optimizing our systems, networks, and security by scaling projects, all while creating great user experiences.

My biggest fear is stagnation, so I choose to be transformational. If you are comfortable in your chair, I’m going to make you stand up and move. In other words, agility is a core value that I want to bring to the IT infrastructure organization. I want to create an inspiring set-up for people who like to learn and grow.

Trust and transparency are very important for a good working atmosphere and employee motivation. What do you do to achieve these in your department?

At this stage of the transformation, we are fully transparent when we tackle questions and issues. Before the contracts were signed, we weren’t able to share all the information, and this naturally led to insecurity and left a bad taste. Now everything is fully laid out, we are an open book. There is nothing that we know that we have not shared with our employees. We talk openly about job roles and job descriptions, about internal and external jobs, about our partners and the opportunities they offer.

If there are issues, we address them by communicating openly in every possible way: through dialogue, open sessions, intranet, coffee chats, town-hall meetings, e-mails, etc.

To summarize, we need to work more strategically and to reduce complexity. We must empower decision-making at the right levels and build trust in our quality.

Thank you for the interview, Jyotin!