"Each company will be a data company in the future, which is why data management is more important than ever. Companies that fail to keep up with this development are in serious danger of being overshadowed by a competitor that can make better strategic decisions more quickly."
The world is digitising at a rapid pace, while the number of people who understand technology is lagging behind. According to research by the World Economic Forum, six out of ten people are insufficiently prepared to cope with the ever-accelerating digital world. This gap is problematic, because on the one hand, we have more and more data and need to manage it better, and on the other, we are not sufficiently prepared.
Instead of implementing all kinds of new systems, it is therefore wiser to focus on improving cooperation using the existing digital resources. People who possess this knowledge and skills can be used as a kind of digital ambassadors who guide their colleagues.
After a brief flirtation with the legal profession, Thomas Benard discovered that he preferred to solve problems in a broader sense than within legally limited frameworks. Once at Boer & Croon, he soon found himself in the technological corner. I noticed that companies talk a lot about data and technology, but seldom really embrace it. At Boer & Croon, you get the opportunity not only to think up a solution, but also to sell it. There may be 1000 people with a good idea, but only a few are able to make it work in practice.
'In the early days of digitisation, the emphasis was on software; now it is much more about data. A company like Tesla sees itself first and foremost as a data company, only then as a car producer. This goes hand in hand with a different way of thinking about product development. The continuous processing of data, validating, testing and adapting your processes are central. That is a completely different approach to that of the traditional car producers.'
'Look also at the developments in airlines. Here you see that traditional airlines are being challenged by new players who are very good at data management and can therefore make better predictions, which translates into more competitive prices and better planning. With the narrow margins in that industry, it is make or break.'
'Many employees lag behind digitally. For these so-called digital natives, data is a vague concept. As a result, insufficient use is made of business information that can be distilled from that data. The solution to this is more human than technical. Due to a lack of cooperation, each department often sets up its own Power BI dashboard and fails to integrate it with the rest of the organisation. The result is that everyone works with incomplete data and knowledge sharing remains very limited. This is bad for business for two reasons: because of the information backlog, you lag behind the competition and you do not make optimal use of all kinds of expensive software packages that you have paid for. In other words, you pay for a Ferrari, but use it to drive to the supermarket around the corner.'
Digital Collaboration Officer
'So there is a lot of profit to be made on the operational level. Instead of implementing gigantic new systems, it is better to look at how you can better cooperate with each other using the digital resources you already have at your disposal. Digital collaboration should be high on the agenda of every CEO. So I think more and more companies are going to appoint a Digital Collaboration Officer. This is not someone who will implement SAP or another large system, but rather one who will look at how existing systems can be better utilised. And how the by-product data can then be managed better.'