The Connected Company
"Strategic goals are achieved through the proper use of technology and data. However, due to the low threshold of the collection of business-critical data, the cyber security risks are also increasing." Johan Traa | Partner Finance & Technology
"Cybersecurity risks are becoming a bigger and bigger problem, but you still see that it is a forgotten issue at many companies. We rarely see that a dedicated team has been formed that is responsible for cyber security," says Johan Traa.
"Let me give you an example: one of the biggest cybersecurity problems of our time is Log4Shell, a vulnerability within Java Log4j where an attacker can execute code on your server. Because Log4j is used so extensively on systems, applications and websites, they all need to be analysed and updated. Otherwise, malicious' can break into your system and install malware or ransomware."
Cybersecurity team: set up or hire
Cyber attacks are a growing danger that can even disrupt society, look at the recent hack at the Red Cross. You can read about new attacks where companies are held hostage by ransomware or business critical data is stolen almost daily. The European Commission has also indicated that too little is being done to close vulnerabilities such as the Log4j hole.
"It's because there is often no one within the MT or board designated as responsible for cybersecurity," says Johan. "Is that the CFO, the CIO, the risk manager? We advise our clients on how to set up or hire such a cybersecurity team."
"So I would say: contact us to hear how we, at Boer & Croon, can help you define the right roles and responsibilities, reduce risks, deploy technology correctly, and translate your data into information."
During his career Johan Traa has helped a multitude of (inter)national clients with finance & technology transformations. While working at EY at some point he realised that something had to change. "The higher you are at the Big Four, the more you lose touch with your clients, because you are more and more occupied with internal matters. I get energy from three elements: my team, the assignment and the client. That combination is necessary if you want to continue learning. The person must be central. I always want to work in a result-oriented way. Get it done."
So, when Johan received the offer a few years ago to become a partner at Boer & Croon and to build the Finance & Technology Solution from the ground up, he grabbed this opportunity with both hands. With success, as can be seen from the growth of the solution and his team.
Technology and data deployment
"Boer & Croon's Finance & Technology Solution focuses on the development of the CFO, CIO and CTO and the transformation of their organisation. In this regard, the optimal deployment of people, processes, and technology is explicitly examined. Nowadays, you can only achieve your strategic goals through the proper deployment of technology and data. If the management team has the right data available at all times, the strength of the company increases enormously."
The Finance and IT team have taken on a much more strategic role in recent decades. This is due to the increasing availability of data. However, data by itself has little value, Johan believes. "First you have to make the translation from data to information. We first define the information a customer needs to achieve strategic goals, and then translate that into a solid management report."
Johan Traa: "Then we look at the data that is available and whether it contains enough to build the report. Then, we analyse whether the data is correct, complete, of good quality and consistent. Only when your data model and underlying systems are correct and you can use the data for the entire company, you can speak of a 'connected company', where the management team exclusively takes 'data driven decisions'. But be aware: this also makes the company more vulnerable to cyber-attacks."