Eneco is currently the leader when it comes to supporting customers in the transition to sustainable energy use and it would like to keep it that way. As Technology Manager, Mario Suykerbuyk plays a crucial role in realizing this ambition. He has implemented wide-ranging changes in which IT, in terms of organization and solutions, operates as a full extension of the strategic business agenda.
Within the whole framework of the energy transition, people are faced with lots of options, says Suykerbuyk. “As an alternative to natural gas, initiatives for heat pumps and heat networks are cropping up. Solar panels and electric cars are becoming more and more popular. We want to help our customers with the choices they face in their personal energy transition.”
Proper use of data is critical
“There are three important aspects to my role, “says the Chief Information Officer (CIO). “We must be able to provide our products and services to customers quickly and simply. In addition to energy and insulation, this also includes solar panels, charging stations and much more. We need an excellent operation to be able to provide our services at the lowest possible cost. And also vital, we must continue to be the frontrunners in the area of technology. Proper use of data is crucial is offering specific customer-oriented services.”
Centralized structure and vision
According to Gerard Wijers, who is involved via the Anderson MacGyver Consulting Agency, it all revolves around being smart and scalability. “With smart meters and digital interaction, you acquire increasingly more information about the context and energy use of customers. Quick scale-ups and innovative services often require a modernization of the existing IT systems. There are all kinds of challenges and these can’t all be solved by the same kinds of people. It demands a different organizational structure and operational management.”
From a centralized structure and with one shared vision, Eneco now focuses the right, often scarce resources on specific, strategic goals. Suykerbuyk: “In the areas we can distinguish ourselves; we work with our own people. Generic matters are often outsourced.”
Digitization has a way of fusing many fields. The comfort level at home can be controlled via an app, people gain insight into their own use and know when the CH-boiler needs a tune-up. The various underlying chain processes are modified to fit the individual customer. Over the past two years, the newly founded IT organization has worked hard at integration on the basis of standardized IT and data.
“The transformation to standardized IT platforms knows no national boundaries,” continues the Eneco Director. “Once a Rotterdam company, we are now active in Germany and Belgium and are slowly on our way to becoming a real European organization. We already have windmills, solar parks and power plants everywhere.”
“IT is interwoven in all of the great things Eneco is trying to do”.
Suykerbuyk, as CIO, makes the connection between business and technology at a managerial level. “This is necessary because IT so interwoven in all of the great things Eneco is trying to do. This has a massive appeal for talented, highly-motivated young entrepreneurs. Not only within IT, but also in the rest of the organization. Besides being CIO, he is now also member of the Commercial Management division.
Collaboration with Anderson MacGyver
“For me, Eneco is the prime example of how IT belongs in the boardroom,” says Wijers. “It shows that you can make a difference with one central tech-and-data organization. With good people, simple platforms and a clear roadmap. This way, you create a new digital reality on your own, and with all the related products, services and processes. This is the number one theme of these times.”
Realizing your own large-scale digital transformation takes time. By collaborating with a firm like Anderson MacGyver, Eneco is able to bring tried and tested solutions on the market much faster. There is a chronological sequence that must be followed, says Mario Suykerbuyk. “First, you must determine the strategy, then you need to have the right people in the right place to do what is necessary. Experience has taught us this will and makes all of the stops on the roadmap much easier to achieve.”
This article appeared as a supplement with the “Financieele Dagblad “ newspaper and on analysenederland.nl