Recently, I renovated my house. That actually involved a collection of projects, some of which involved the foundation: electricity, heating, plumbing and lighting. The choice of what and how was mainly made together, as a family. But we deliberately kept some subprojects out of the central group process. For example, the home office in the extension, with all the specific functionality needed to do your work well.   

This renovation involved miniature portfolio management. The project at my home illustrates why organizations do this and what ultimately makes the difference in the decision-making process. With portfolio management, you can adequately address organization-wide challenges by thinking from the expected value for the whole. The question is: which projects do you include in this discussion, and which do you not? That depends on how ‘loosely coupled’ they are…  

Highest priority 

Traditionally, you determine which change projects have the highest priority and then allocate time and budget accordingly. But not everything is part of this centrally led discussion. After all, by delivering the right products and services, business managers must achieve results that are in line with the objectives. The what and how of commercialization towards the customer, market or partner ecosystem is a matter for the director responsible.  

In many organizations, this is shifting towards prioritization within agile teams, who are responsible for products with associated functions and customer requirements. Budgeting involves a Dragon’s Den-like setting, where business cases are pitched with a view to the required funding. In the agile world, the product manager or product owner has a key position. 

Loosely coupled

Products and services with which organizations distinguish themselves in the market and achieve business results are relatively ‘loosely coupled’. They are largely independent, but do use the organization’s facilities, support activities and infrastructure. There are always things that need to be organized centrally. For example, when security, finance or compliance are at stake. For that basis you make use of centrally organized services. In the case of my house, good locks, connected smoke detectors and a certified alarm system together ensure that the workspace is protected – you don’t make up a separate solution for that.  

If things are loosely coupled ‘at the front end’ of the business, i.e., operate independently of other systems, then the business director or product manager can arrange distinctive matters themselves. If there is in fact interconnection with, for instance, an ERP system or other IT-legacy, then adjustments must be included in a centrally managed prioritization. Who or what is up first is a matter for business and IT to weigh up. The person responsible for resource planning has a key position here, together with colleagues who are also directly dependent on their business goals and results. You must keep the director of the distinctive business at the front end out of this as much as possible. 

The colour of business activities

In order to support our clients in the best possible way, Anderson MacGyver maps out their business activities and the supporting IT in detail. Depending on the dynamics and differentiation, the business activities are given their own colour. Green, blue, orange and purple indicate the areas in which, for example, investment is needed to keep the basics in order, where efficiency can be gained in supporting technology and where data and technology can increase direct business value.  

The distinctive, loosely coupled business activities should therefore be kept as far as possible from the central portfolio discussion. In this purple domain, it is mainly a matter of assigning them to the right business unit, board member or team. Major changes in the other colors are preferably part of a widely supported prioritization. This is also the case at home. Because nobody wants to end up without electricity and in the cold in a poorly secured house.  

Improving yourself is always a journey of discovery. Of course, you can try and practice blindly and along the way you will certainly make progress. It is smarter to gain insight: things that are going well, but also points that lend themselves to improvement. As a passionate windsurfer, I occasionally allow myself a 360 view from the outside with a camera – a kind of self-assessment. Similarly, the right tools and resources are available for organizations that want to transform and accelerate digitally.    

For digital acceleration, you need to know where digitalization is progressing too slowly before you can kick things into high gear. It could be that in the customer domain, things are moving fast, with for example ‘next best actions’ or streaming data. In contrast, there are more possibilities in the factory or on the asset side. Where do you stand? Where are there still large gaps to bridge?  

Data is the main driver of digitalization, most of the time in conjunction with the application of new technological possibilities, such as equipping maintenance workers with VR glasses or placing sensors in a production environment and physical assets. An important aspect of digital acceleration is that organizations must be equipped to do so – with the right competencies they can make the step to a successful digitalization of the business model or even to a new digital business model.  

Equip your business for digital acceleration 

This often starts with the board, but the rest of the organization must not be left behind either. Assessments, but also training, internal and external academies focus on the human factor. Sometimes it means that the board chooses a different approach. For example, by deciding that data management, in addition to being a centrally supported matter with tools and guidelines, is largely the responsibility of the users themselves. This brings the data closer to the business, which can then steer it.  

Just as I am doing nowadays as a windsurfer… For some time, there have been waterproof cameras that you can connect to your rigging. In this way, you can record your own actions and share them with others, for example. Nowadays, these cameras are so advanced that they film everything around you as if a drone were to follow you. A Matrix-like sensation. Combined with the ability to control and edit on a good cell phone, you literally have a 360-degree view of yourself and the circumstances in your hands. An ideal assessment tool to improve yourself based on recorded facts!  

In data-driven organizations, such a look at yourself in practice often leads to remarkable results. For example, for a business team that will deal with data, it is important that the algorithms are developed further and calibrated regularly. If this is not done, there is a risk of erroneous conclusions. To this end, the business should hire a data scientist, all the while the business manager would rather hire a project manager who will help him or her to increase turnover in the short term. The board can prevent such perverse incentives by appointing/setting targets for digitalization in addition to revenue or margin. Otherwise, the behavior will not change.  

Human potential

As mentioned above, the human component in digital acceleration and transformation plays an important role. A close collaboration with HR, for the continuous learning and development of talent, is crucial. For each individual, role and position, attention should be paid to culture, leadership and knowledge of, for example, business context and stakeholders, in addition to professional development. 

The essence of the story is: digitalization is in the people. Often the weakest link at first, but with the most potential. The assessment should focus especially on all those people involved, practical and context dependent. Digital consultants determine where the most important gaps are, but also where the best business cases are. In other words: where is the biggest difference to be made per unit of time?  

As a windsurfer, I’m going through this transformation; from sharing great moments to taking a critical look at myself, not least via friends’ feedback (my own windsurfing consultants) on my 360-degree self-assessment. This is how we ultimately reach greater heights through digital means. I assure you it works!  

IT is inextricably part of virtually all business activities and processes in the digital age. In order to make the right tech and data choices at board level, an optimal interaction between the IT leadership and the rest of the board is necessary. But that’s where things tend to go wrong. During the CIO Masterclass, with contributions from SPIE CEO Lieve Declercq and Anderson MacGyver co-founder Gerard Wijers, the language barrier was broken down.  

During her introduction, chairwoman Crystal Reijnen lightheartedly but aptly typified how people in the boardroom sometimes talk past one another when it comes to IT decision-making. The Anderson MacGyver consultant quoted an imaginary CEO who, after a day on the road with other directors, suddenly realizes that her company must do more with data. But, before the CIO can even enthusiastically come up with suggestions, the CFO already asked what it will all cost and the CHRO says it shouldn’t have too much impact on the employees. Any more good ideas, anyone?

Yes there are! The CIO’s ERP renewal proposal, for example. It’s needed badly as a foundation for a digital future, but unfortunately no one in the boardroom sees the need for a modernized backend. Recognizable? Quite so. “It’s good that IT is a topic of conversation in the boardroom,” says Reijnen. However, it is only the beginning of a long journey toward a value-driven IT strategy. “To get the maximum value from IT, you do need to have the board on-board.”  

Biggest annoyances 

Anderson MacGyver’s Gerard Wijers then reflected on IT decision making in the boardroom. A complex dynamic that often misses the core, because those involved often have a different point of view. This leads to misunderstanding, misalignment and even annoyance. “In the Netherlands we are rather fond of our freedom of mind and we are therefore rarely shy of opinions. Even if things don’t suit us,” says Wijers, who is also a core lecturer at Nyenrode and the Antwerp Management School. He listed the most important irritations on both sides.  

He listed the top five irritations business leaders have about IT professionals: they make everything complicated (‘good at explaining what’s not possible’), they deliver too slowly (‘dozens of years of backlogs’), they are too expensive (‘unclear business rationale for investments’), insufficiently aligned with the rest of the company (‘they have a different agenda’) and they speak a different language. Wijers: “Clouds, lakes, tribes, sprints – it is certainly not the idiom of an energy or manufacturing company.”  

Of course, the IT leader also has something to complain about. For example, inadequately formulated expectations in relation to a not infrequently unclear business strategy, and in the extension of that: unclear priorities. Another cause for friction is that IT is mainly seen as a cost instead of a source of value – partly because dedicated technology ownership is not anchored in the board. Finally, IT is just too poorly understood by a limited tech-savvy board.

Bridging the gap

What can you do to bridge all these gaps? The suggestions Wijers mentions are logically in the realm of communication, governance, experimentation, simplicity, roadmaps and priorities. More salient is the realization that there are different manifestations of IT (multi-modality) and an IT demand that is balanced with the often-limited delivery capacity. “For all of this, ultimately the people, the teams and leaders make it all possible.”  

That crucial human factor – including the confusion of speech to be avoided – was emphatically addressed in SPIE CEO Lieve Declercq’s contribution. In her transformation program, which included the goal of better aligning IT with the business strategy, she distinguished four key pillars: getting the IT and data house in order, driving innovation, and achieving growth. “As a people-centric company, we place the human factor emphatically at the heart of these changes,” says Declercq.  

Integral strategy

Shortly before, she had told about the reason for the change program within the Dutch branch of the multitechnical service provider. The company has grown strongly and is organized in a decentralized way, partly due to mergers and acquisitions. “Our customers are in sectors where technology plays a fundamental role,” Declercq told us. “Energy companies, factories, physical infrastructures. IT is defining the future of our customers, and therefore our own.”  

Many of these clients were more mature in terms of IT than SPIE itself. It was decided to formulate an integrated strategy from the board, of which IT was an inseparable part. This was then translated to all divisions, functions and people. A modern, future-proof IT environment was the springboard to better business results.

Multi-year program

This required a multi-year program that went beyond combining projects. In addition to discipline, perseverance and dedication, good interaction and coordination between IT and business was crucial. Anderson MacGyver helped to align activities, ambitions, organizational structure and the associated IT support from the beginning. This included selecting and implementing a new core application.  

Apart from the content of the program, according to Lieve Declercq, it is important that the CEO and other board members continuously ask questions. What does IT really mean for the company, for example in relation to a business model that may or may not change? What does the customer expect? What is the focus of IT – and is it cost or value? Is there a process for integrating rapid acquisitions? How do business and IT push each other to greater heights?  

Lieve Declercq: “Asking the right questions helps break down the language barrier. This is not only the responsibility of the IT function, but also of the other board members, including the CEO. IT leaders should expect me to make an effort to understand them.” 

Inclusion of junior managers increases the chances of innovation projects reaching success compared to when senior managers are engaged, according to a study of Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). Experienced managers with a track record of success enjoy the trust of the organization, and are widely regarded as the go-to people for quality ideas. This leads to the HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) effect, which signifies the ignorance of facts; HIPPO’s present opinions as facts, but do so without staying objective, which can lead to faulty decision making with negative consequences in terms of cost, time loss, and loss of team trust. However, the issue can be circumvented utilizing data-driven decision-making.

What is required for a data-driven decision-making culture?

Data eliminates emotion from the decision-making process. The classic 2011 film Moneyball shows that, in an emotion-driven sport – like baseball in the USA – smart choices, and high scores can be achieved by solely looking at data. Nevertheless, soccer clubs in the Netherlands have only recently initiated data collection and data-driven decision making. Perhaps, because this sport is – to an exceptionally high degree – driven by emotion and HIPPO-behavior.

Besides patience and persistence, a report structure based on relevant and quality data is paramount in creating a supported data-driven decision-making culture. A sound justification of the data structure, quality of the data, and sources of algorithms should be available to parry skeptics.

Holistic view of data

At Anderson MacGyver, we see that many of our clients struggle with this challenge. Even if everyone agrees that decisions ought to be taken based on data, it remains difficult to get to, or retain a high quality of data-driven insights. We enjoy aiding our clients in achieving a data-driven decision-making culture by developing a data vision, data strategy, and from there, data-based products or services. We also see that organizations that – with an ostensibly paralyzing perfection – primarily focus on the completeness and correctness of the fundamentals but lose track of the business focus. A balanced analysis and setting the right priorities are the crucial success factors. Only through a holistic view on data, can you ensure that the value of it can be (temporarily) disclosed and the deployed methods maximally contribute to business value.

Maximally equipping HIPPO’s

Are you questioning whether you are extracting the maximum potential from your data? Or how you could transition your decision-making towards a more data-driven process? Do you recognize the HIPPO’s of your organization, and do you wonder how to better inform them? Have a look at our ‘Data to Value’ approach, or visit us during the Big Data Expo on the 14th and 15th September 2022 at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht.

Forced to work from home when COVID started, I structured my desk optimally: clean, tidy, ergonomic, and everything I needed within reach. Although my work has not really changed in the past two years, my desk has become crammed and cluttered again. With digital IT landscapes, if you’re not careful, the same thing can happen.

Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo has described a way to keep your home clean. Her theory is called “tokimeku”, which means that you only keep things that bring you joy. Translated to a digital IT landscape, this becomes “decide which parts of the system landscape make you cheerful”. Knowing this, take action and clean up and continue doing so. Anderson MacGyver has a few tools to help you determine what excites you. What should remain ‘on the desk’ of your digital IT landscape, and what can be cleaned up?

Cleaning up your digital IT landscape using business activities

It starts with identifying the activities that are the right of existence of an organization. To do so I use the Multimodal Business Activity Analysis. Subsequent business activities are sorted among four coloured quadrants -green, blue, orange and purple- in order to analyse if technology investments are in balance and where investments should be made. For example, to ‘keep the desk clean and workable’ I need to decide where new capacities must be defined and where technology enables new products and services compared to technology upgrades forced by solution providers. 

The translation to technology investments is not a mathematical exercise. There are multiple trajectories to embark.  For example, as an energy company, do you choose to be a commodity supplier and go for operational excellence? Or do you deploy advanced technology to support customers as best as possible in their energy transition and go for customer intimacy? The product and the sector remain the same, but the chosen strategy has a major impact on the organisation of business and behind of IT.

Business activity quadrants

No single solution for everything

Many of our customers have historically used an ERP or similar core system. Originally rolled out as a ‘solution for everything’, but increasingly modified and supplemented over the years. In other words, the desk has become fuller and messier again. It lacks overview, which makes it more difficult to operate in a customer- and value-oriented way.

What to do?

Aim for a digital IT landscape in which you give the core sufficient attention, but in which you look at the whole, with related solutions for each business domain. No monolithic ERP that (with or without the necessary customisation) supports everyone’s job, but an adequate and coherent holistic solution that provides optimum support within the individual domains. This may well be a single core application, surrounded by collaborating systems – like the laptop on my desk communicating with my other apps and devices.

Creating value

My work at Anderson MacGyver is about supporting organisations and their leaders in their strategic, operational, and tactical choices. The better and more focused those choices are, the more value is created. That makes me enthusiastic and that is what my workplace should be optimally equipped for. If necessary, with the help of Marie Kondo.

Digitization of products, services and operations can help organizations achieve double-digit growth. For large companies – from retailers, insurance companies, and energy companies to media conglomerates – this means potential extra revenue of tens, to hundreds of millions of euros. In order to really extract that value, thorough self-knowledge is required.

In their efforts to develop digitally, organizations face the challenge of bridging three gaps: a gap between business and technology, between strategy and operation, and finally between exploitation and exploration.

Business and technology must always be closely aligned in the digital world. You can greatly improve that alignment with Agile working, but that usually does not extend to the second gap; anyone who applies the Agile methodology to operational teams may lack strategic focus. The optimal digital organization is able to bridge both gaps.

Separated worlds

In a large B2C organization for which Anderson MacGyver recently completed a project, 38 percent of revenue comes from digital products and services. Naturally, the organisation works in Agile DevOps teams, using external and internal technology platforms. Nevertheless, insufficient speed was achieved in terms of improvement and renewal of the service provision to customers.

The strategic issue turned out to be twofold: the customer focus, growth focus and drive to outperform the competition was strongly present in the various business units, but the technical employees were directed based on daily performance, continuity assurance, security and cost savings. In result, these two worlds did not align enough to realise a sufficient degree of acceleration digitally within the organization.

“Business, management and IT must become more ‘in sync’. Paramount to achieving this is insight into one’s own business activities. What is the added value that you provide as an organization (for customers)? Do you provide a commodity service for a low price, or are you delivering an exclusive niche?”

Setting up a company strategy for a digital organization

As Anderson MacGyver, we have the experience of digital transformations in completely different organizations and sectors. Although the perspective and execution differ per case, the approach is roughly the same.

First, all business activities are classified – from a strategic perspective – on a canvas; the operating model canvas. For each activity, technology and business are brought together within multidisciplinary teams at strategic, coordinating and executive level. Within a digitally mature organization, all teams deliver a type of value that is in line with the company strategy.

Every nine to twelve months one central theme is communicated from the management. That gives a strategic focus on top of Agile working in the rest of the organization.

Consequentially, the gap is bridged in three areas, which enables you to really focus on delivering added value for customers, and ultimately, for yourself. Regardless of the industry.

Do you want to know more? Click here for our newly published whitepaper on Multimodality

‘First organise, then automate’ is the common saying. In practice, these are intertwined, resulting in standardising and thus adjusting processes in combination with – and often in parallel to – setting up your IT landscape based on ‘best practices’. In other words, ‘stick to the standard’ when configuring your IT systems. The supporting business activities, such as finance, procurement and HR or, in short, the business domain, are ideally suited to properly and uniformly set up the automated support based on standard ‘ways of working’. Organizing systems according to unambiguous working methods, which are often inherent to processes within these functional domains. For IT systems, this generally leads to a relatively quick implementation and a lower management burden, and thus to a better TCO. In terms of attention – and therefore capacity and budgets – the focus can be placed on supporting the primary activities, often aimed at the customer or end user. In the context of multimodality, Anderson MacGyver refers to this as ‘commoditizing’. 

Uniform processes go hand in hand with a ‘best practice’ configuration of the IT landscape 

Commoditizing, especially in the business domain, is part of Anderson MacGyver’s MultiModality analysis, and helps to realize the aforementioned ‘fit for future’ configured technology. As mentioned, commoditizing primarily concerns supporting business activities such as Finance, HR and Procurement. In this new dynamic, a ‘fit for future’ design of the IT landscape is crucial: a stable basis that is also flexible enough to be able to innovate in a customer-oriented way. 

The available technology to support these uniformly arranged processes are generally called business solutions. In other words, integrated platforms such as ERP systems or best-of-breed solutions for, for example, debtor management, invoice scanning and matching or advanced procurement solutions. In principle these business solutions offer in the standard perfectly suitable functionality. Processes should be adapted to the standard in the business solution instead of customizing the systems to those processes. 

In short, unlike what is often thought, the technology is not the starting point for such a transition. On the contrary, you can only think about appropriate IT from the perspective of coherence when business activities, operations and organization have been assessed. Ultimately, commoditizing comes down to making conscious choices aimed at uniforming processes, and thereby optimally organizing the IT landscape based on the ‘stick to the standard’ principle. In that sense, commoditizing supporting activities is an important step towards being future proof. 

Three practical examples: commoditizing in the installation industry, the logistics and the education sector 

Three examples from our consultancy practice illustrate what value commoditizing can bring to an organisation. Based on assignments for clients from three different sectors that have started or have carried out a landscape renewal based on the principle: uniforming back-office processes, and thereby staying close to the standard in terms of designing and configuring the IT systems. 

  1. The installation industry is characterised by growth, some of which through mergers and acquisitions. This often leads to new forms of service provision. For the sake of efficiency (operational excellence), these dynamics require centralization of the supporting activities in particular. This also requires a certain degree of standardization in the primary processes in the form of standard work packages, and the selection and design of ‘fit for purpose’ IT solutions that can optimally support these processes without much customization. The large concerns that arise from these merger and acquisitions create economies of scale by centrally organizing and arranging processes for procurement, HR and finance, such as financial administration, debtors and creditors, and then support these functional domains in the solutions in an unambiguous way. 
  2. Logistics services face a shift in primary activities due to increasing online shopping and the associated home delivery. Various value chains are served here: BtB, BtC and BtBtC. With a focus on customer intimacy, this results in separate business units per customer group, which must be efficiently supported from centrally, uniformly designed processes and systems for domains such as HR, finance and procurement. 
  3. In the education sector, new parties can offer modern, competitive educational concepts much faster through digital platforms. The answer of the often strongly decentralized universities and colleges is to unambiguously adjust processes and systems for administrative business operations in order to be both distinctive and efficient. Commoditizing based on uniform solutions and processes where possible, and customization aimed at the education market where necessary.

How to get started on commoditizing your business administration processes? 

IT systems are not the starting point for a commoditizing transition. On the contrary, you can only consider appropriate IT from a cohesive perspective when business activities, operations and organization have been thoroughly assessed.  

Differentiation is particularly important when standardizing the business administration domain. By assuming that all activities are generic (‘green’) and at the same time paying attention to activities that must be specific to the market standard (‘orange’), you gain benefits where possible and at the same time stay as close as possible in terms of technology the standard. 

Optimally supporting activities with IT requires a fit for future IT landscape. Such a landscape is crucial in this new dynamic. Not every business activity requires a similar solution. The IT that supports the primary processes is generally not the same IT that is used for the secondary processes, such as HR, financial administration and procurement. Anderson MacGyver helps to make choices aimed at commoditizing business operations and thus the supporting IT systems: from specific stand-alone solutions to uniformity. 

If you want to go for ‘commoditizing’, proceed as follows 

  • Map your activities, the Operating Model Canvas is an excellent tool for this 
  • Distinguish where IT makes the difference and where IT can be organized efficiently and in accordance with the standard 
  • Ensure that the IT specificity in the activities is sufficiently supported where necessary, but not ruthlessly! 
  • Involve the user organization and make agreements about ‘green’, primarily about uniformity in processes and therefore also about the underlying IT to be set up 
  • Take as a starting point when setting up the IT that processes are adapted and standardized based on how the solution supports this in the standard, adapting the technology to the way of working is a last resort 

Multimodality and ‘commoditizing’ 

MultiModality is Anderson MacGyver’s basis for organizing data and technology from a value perspective and provides direction for the decisions to be made for this purpose. Classifying business activities according to their dynamics and differentiation provides frameworks for determining how these activities can be organized optimally: how should processes run, how should governance be set up, what are the sourcing options, and what technology fits best. The classification leads to a classification in four categories indicated by colors: purple, blue, orange and green. An activity with low dynamics and little differentiation (generic) is given the classification green. Commoditizing in the methodology of Anderson MacGyver is organizing and supporting with technology the business activity towards its low dynamics and differentiation. 

The possibilities of data are virtually limitless. Ironically, this awareness regularly prevents data strategies and initiatives from fruition. Anyone who wants to become data-driven has infinite opportunities, consequently running the risk of getting stuck in endless vistas and crippling perfection, which makes it inherently difficult to find a suitable starting point.

So, yes, the sky is the limit, but you won’t get anywhere without an appropriate value-oriented data strategy. A vision that gives you the framework to focus on the most relevant matters. At Anderson MacGyver, we use an integral perspective in which data, technology and organization all play an important role. We choose a use-case-based approach in which the data strategy is developed in small steps. Knowing what value the organization wants to derive from data in the short term helps pushing the right buttons in order to be successful in the long term.

Initially, restraint constitutes added value: by starting small and quickly achieving tangible successes, initiatives will spread easily and stimulate new ones – celebrating success together provides energy for the subsequent step. Of course, everything should be based on an appropriate, future-proof data governance and data architecture.

Data strategy, the bigger picture

Anderson MacGyver is involved in many successful data projects. Sometimes such trajectories are stand-alone. More often, the data strategy is part of a larger strategic advisory process, such as a redesign of the digital organization, an extensive digital transformation, IT implementation or a combination thereof. Data is typically the common factor opening new perspectives.

A prime example is Allinq, which is specialized in construction and life-cycle management of telecom infrastructure. A new core system was implemented five years ago, requiring improved data management. With data governance related issues resolved, the company now has detailed insight into the assets of customers through continuous monitoring. This information is now being offered as a new product on the market.

Similarly, we can look at Eneco, an energy company that is data-driven 24/7. Thanks to the intelligent ‘Toon home thermostat’, amongst other things, the company can always make the right energy purchasing choices on the energy market. This dependence on data makes it necessary to set up a continuous operation for the data processes, thus marking a shift from data as a supporting asset to a primary process.

Raising awareness

Anderson MacGyver helps many different organizations to increase awareness of the possibilities and value of data – e.g. from making the right decisions and creating more intimate customer relationships, to predictive analytics and leveraging data as a product or service, with a sharp eye for all associated risks and responsibilities.

In short: the data strategy does not stand alone. It should be a match with the organizational structure, processes and the technology landscape. By starting now from these guiding frameworks, you can realize unlimited value with data later on.

By Gerard Wijers

Is an insurer primarily a brand or a digital factory that offers white label products? Are large publishers still media companies or do they primarily manage content for online news and information? What makes a parcel deliverer the preferred supplier? Is the answer optimizing traditional logistics assets or intelligent use of all available data?

Although the answer in most cases lies in the middle, this illustrates that due to extensive digitization, organizations face a considerable challenge. In addition to the focus on technology and data, organizations increasingly must make strategic choices regarding their position in the digital ecosystem.

Within these dynamics, it is no longer viable to primarily reason from within one’s own organization. Besides asking the question as to what makes your company unique, companies need to look outside: which partnerships can and should you seek in order to achieve long-term strategic goals?

Involve the entire management

Fundamental decisions such as choosing ‘brand or machine’, ‘content or consent’ and ‘physical or virtual’ transcend the agenda of technology leaders such as CIOs, CTOs and CDOs. Due to the strategic importance, the entire management is preferably involved in determining the targeted position within the digital business ecosystem. In addition, management boards need the right tools to get the organization moving.

Positioning the organization starts with self-knowledge. Anyone who wants to be successful in a networked collaboration must reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses. By being aware of the value you add for the consumer, partner or end customer, you can optimally tailor activities to market needs; alone or in collaboration with other stakeholders in the ecosystem. To optimally support analysis and decision-making, Anderson MacGyver recently developed the ValueWeb method.

Act faster

The ValueWeb enables organizations to thoroughly assess their current and future desired position in the digital ecosystem. By being aware of their position in the detailed mapped value network, organizations enable themselves to respond more adequately to opportunities. For example, by deploying existing activities differently or in new markets, or by developing new activities in an existing market.

The ValueWeb facilitates strategic decision-making through creating structures and providing insight in the bigger picture as well as enabling deeper analysis of key factors. Examples of such strategic issues are whether organizations carry out activities themselves or purchase from the ecosystem and determining which data to keep internally and which to share outside your organization. All while operating in increasingly complex B2B2C dynamics. Again, what matters in the end is reflecting on the value you add; for yourself and for the entire ecosystem.

An interesting notion is that CxO’s have to let go of things anyway. Organizations must open up digitally to play a meaningful role in the “API economy” and in the ecosystems of choice. Organizations must show their hands to provide customers with the right digital experience, to be of value to partners, and to be able to achieve more through collaboration.

Stay maneuverable

As organizations are increasingly coming into contact with each other, connections are becoming more numerous, but also more volatile. Companies must show flexibility between opening up quickly, and if something does not work, close again. The combination of self-knowledge, competences and agility is of great importance to organizations to answer fundamental questions about where they stand, what they want and what they can do. The ValueWeb enables you to come up with the right answers.

Are you curious about your position within a value network, or would you like to play a different role in a developing digital ecosystem? Read our white paper on the ValueWeb or contact Fabian Haijenga. As Anderson MacGyver we will soon organize an Exclusive CIO Masterclass on this subject. Check with Paul Keizer whether you are eligible to participate.

Anderson MacGyver, a management consultancy firm specialized in digital transformation with offices in the Netherlands and Sweden, announced the opening of a new office in Germany as part of its continued expansion in the European market.

Anderson MacGyver is taking the next step in its strategy to become a leading European advisory firm for strategic advice on Data and Technology. The firm, who recently made the top 5 in’s best digital advisory ranking, earlier spread their wings from the Netherlands to the Nordics in 2019 and will now be offering its services in Germany.

“The decision to expand further into Europe and open an office in Germany was a logical step in our business strategy,” says Rik Bijmholt, one of the firm’s co-founders and directors. “Many of our clients have operations in Europe’s largest economy,” he explains. “Furthermore, Germany has the second largest consulting market in Europe, thus we expect to encounter ample knowledge collaborations. The North Rine-Westphalia area, from where Anderson MacGyver Germany will operate, is the home of world market leaders and is marked as a future-oriented digital location.” Bijmholt adds that Germany is a great steppingstone for the firm’s expansion into the German-speaking region in Europe.

As Anderson MacGyver already works for international clients who operate in numerous industries, the German market is right up their alley. The firm’s track record includes the French-based industrial engineering company SPIE, Rituals Cosmetics, energy supplier and producer Eneco Group and Vanderlande, one of the world’s largest handling systems suppliers.

Anderson MacGyver Germany will formally launch on June 1st. The firm has attracted Sönke Thoms, who has extensive experience in supporting clients to solve IT issues on a strategic level. Thoms is a former Director of Consulting Services at international consultancy CGI, has years of experience in the financial sector and occupied various leadership positions within technology consultancy firm CKC. “I am very proud and excited to be part of the Anderson MacGyver family. Together, we will build something new and very impactful in Germany,” says Thoms. He continues: “We are looking forward to accompany our German clients on their digital journey and help them to create more business value with data and technology.”

Anderson MacGyver

The core purpose of Anderson MacGyver is to harness the unrealized business value for our clients by leveraging the powerful potential of technology & data. We provide strategic advice and guidance to board members and senior management to shape and drive their digital journey.