Down with IT projects! Long live business projects.

It might appear to be a contradiction but it was the most important message from the Ad Ultima Customer Connection Day 2015. You ought to put an end to IT projects. All of the speakers agreed that IT should not be treated as a separate subject but must encompass all aspects of a business. The solution is therefore to launch business projects, with support from IT.

Jo Caudron explained that new business models are disrupting entire sectors and called for the appointment of a Digital Chief. Ideally this person will report directly to the CEO or even be the CEO. Brecht Verduyn discussed the rise of apps that can offer added opportunities to employers, employees and clients alike.

Benefit to the client

Jo Caudron has been talking about this for many years: digital disruption is happening. He is discovering an increasing number of examples and they always have one thing in common – new technology ultimately fulfils a client’s need and usually provides a new service. The apps which Brecht Verduyn highlighted often deliver a new service to the end client.

That end client will be able to communicate more and more directly with the company it does business with, simply by making its behaviour measurable. Thanks to direct input and the emergence of the Internet of Things, big data and deep learning are expanding across all sectors. Those that want to make their operations stand out no longer see the IT department as a separate entity, but pursue a well thought-out digital strategy for every business activity.

“Businesses that want to give their competitors food for thought should work in an intelligent and creative way with all the extra client information they hold,” says Filip Bossuyt. “That means technology must be a tool, not a goal. Ad Ultima Group wants to support its clients in understanding the latest information with the help of powerful business software. We want to make information relevant to you.”

Selecting relevant information

Filtering relevant information is becoming increasingly less obvious due to the explosion of apps and brand-new information systems. “The various apps that provide access to the system have been introduced in a hurry without considering the main purpose of the activity or updating it,” said Jos Feyaerts. They probably all supply different information. Each part of your business also has its own way of collecting information. When you automate the process – from gathering information to archiving it – you immediately bring up the relevant figures and waste no time on inefficient administration.

You do not need to fully disrupt work straight away, but collecting and retaining new, relevant information can improve your business processes, increase your efficiency and give you the time and space to work harder on your service. The figures from Gartner speak for themselves: client-focused businesses are 60% more profitable.

Start at administration level

“Decide beforehand which information you want to collect – through your ERP system, for example – and what you want to do with it in future. You will quickly notice that this may have an influence on the entire business strategy. So, don’t view an ERP update as an IT project but as an investment for the future of the entire business,” says Filip Bossuyt. “Do away with digital projects where the IT manager has to do all the dirty work. We want to provide you with a comprehensive digital transformation. And that starts at administration level.”

Are you ready for it?