Beyond tools: an impression of CIONET Belgium’s annual event

On January 24, 2017, in Hof Ter Musschen in Brussels, CIONET Belgium held its annual event to bring together a vast host of Belgian CIOs. Primarily an avenue for CIOs to exchange knowledge, network and stay informed of the latest trends in the IT landscape, Delaware Consulting is a premium sponsor of the event as a firm believer that knowledge is best shared and can arm CIOs for tomorrow’s challenges.

The human impact of technology

Among the attendees was Ludo Van den Kerckhove, member of the CIONET advisory board and director of Strategy & Transformation at Delaware Consulting. “What struck me about the event was that there was only little focus on technical aspects and more on human components,” he says. “More and more CIOs seem to realize that to bring or perhaps even drive added business value for their organization, they need to think about the human connection to technology, how it influences leadership strategies and how it can fit within the responsive, agile mindset of today.”

A crucial aspect of digital transformation’s success

Speakers at the event included Belgian deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the CIO of energy giant EDF Luminus, celebrity philosopher Maarten Boudry and the CEO of CV Warehouse. “The focus on technology combined with the need for change in human behavior and an explicit vision dovetails with the need for digital transformation in every business,” says Mr Van den Kerckhove. “Digital transformation has been the hot topic of the past few years, but its attendant changes in company culture are often left implied, while they are a crucial success factor.”

Futureproof your organization with the right benchmarks

“Today’s CIO has become a central figure in translating business visions into an IT architecture and IT capabilities that help execute the business plan. One of the big challenges in this is knowing where you are with well-selected benchmarks and the right interpretation of them to ensure a company can be futureproofed. Otherwise, to paraphrase the well-known military maxim, CIOs risk always preparing for the previous war,” Mr Van den Kerckhove adds.
The event at Hof Ter Musschen had an eye for the broader picture, with thinkers and authors sharing the stage with business luminaries. It clearly indicated the dual speed approach every CIO has to adopt, combining pragmatic and continuous capability questioning with human drive. Or, as CIONET’s strategy director Patrick Arlequeeuw said, “use proven and benchmarkable practices that are relevant for today as well as future proof, and build the necessary capabilities by integrating people, processes, systems and information and managing holistically.”

Food for thought

CIONET Belgium’s annual event provides insights, but also raises thought-provoking questions. “That’s a good thing. We ought to keep questioning ourselves and our role within an increasingly fluid world. Progress is never made when you think you are doing well,” concludes Mr Van den Kerckhove.

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