COMPANY BLOG: Delaware Consulting

As a leader and entrepreneur, you go through different stages when growing ‘your enterprise’, while learning some valuable lessons along the way. Here are some of my lessons learned that may guide you through your own journey.

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Have you recently watched a so-called ‘action movie’ from the 1980s or 1990s? If you did, you were probably surprised by how slow the movie was filmed compared to the newer titles in the genre. It just goes to show in what fast-evolving world we live. Fashions fade faster, hypes disappear when most people are still considering adhering to them and technology trends come and go at the speed of light. For organizations, it becomes increasingly difficult to know what technologies to adopt when you want to grow towards truly smart.

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If Finance still wants its place at the boardroom table, it should reinvent itself and give substance to the promise of becoming a true business partner. Although a growing number of CFOs are well aware of the challenges that the finance function is facing, in reality, nothing much changes. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. In this era of digital transformation, companies, across industries, are being forced to shift faster and grow smarter in many different ways. New business models arise, new market entrants – often with a more low-weight cost structure – move quickly and disrupt businesses faster than ever before. To survive in this highly volatile and uncertain environment, businesses have to reinvent themselves to deliver customer value that really matters. And Finance is no exception to this rule.

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Big data, cloud, mobile and social have radically changed our view on business IT. Across industries, we see companies exploring how they can incorporate these technological innovations in their current processes, and how they can then build new business models on them. To support these major business transformations, SAP launched its S/4 HANA ERP business suite. S/4 HANA, short for SAP Business Suite 4 HANA, is the company’s biggest innovation since SAP R/3. For those who are wondering how SAP came up with the name for its new ERP: Hana is a beach in Hawaii, the kind you would like to go to every weekend – and that’s exactly the message that SAP wants to get across. Things that, in the past, you could do only once in a lifetime – if you were lucky – are now just a few clicks away.

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In an ideal world, you have access to all the data you need at a glance. In an ideal world, all business applications offer a consumer-like experience. And, in an ideal world, processes are streamlined in such a way that they enable automated actions based on smart data insights. But we don’t live in an ideal world, do we? In fact, we might be closer to an ideal world than we suspect. Many companies store a vast amount of data, waiting to be explored and to reveal the insights they carry within. Only one little hurdle to overcome: data is often stored in a plenitude of systems and applications, scattered across the company. So starting to analyze it, feels a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack.

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As a customer in a world of companies that all want their piece of the pie, it feels great when a company really listens to you and is eager to meet your needs. I am very sensitive when it comes to services and support. Even more, I’d say that services and support matter more to me than the quality of a product. When you purchase a product and customer service is bad or even nonexistent, you’ll think twice before buying from that company again, won’t you?

The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.”

– Jerry Gregoire (CIO, Dell Computers)


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The buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) is big. In 2020 more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The amount of data coming from these devices will be enormous. But what does IoT mean for your business in particular? Is IoT really the next big thing or should we sit back and wait for the hype to move on? It’s hard to predict where exactly IoT will be in a couple of years, but one thing is for certain: the potential is huge!

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Everything seems to have become smart, lately. We set ourselves smart goals, the electricity grid is becoming smart, we want to live in smart cities, we call our data smart because we can base smart decisions on them… And of course, we all want to work for smart businesses, because they are the ones that will survive. Is smart the new green and are we just ‘smartwashing’ everything?

Let’s take a look at what a smart business is. Smart businesses are companies that are able to adapt to changing circumstances and contribute to a sustainable future. Change is the defining term for the society that we are living in. Over the last couple of decades the pace of change has accelerated enormously. Technology advances that used to take decades, now happen in just years. The digital revolution shapes opportunities for businesses, but you need to grab these opportunities.

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Make no mistake. It’s my home town Ghent, that is the smartest. And it deserves this title because in May 2016, it hosted the `JCI Smart City Challenge 2016. This massive brainstorming session brought together 230 people — citizens, representatives from companies and the midfield — to come up with great ideas to make the city a whole lot smarter. Put all these components together in the mix, and you get strong ideas that will now be realized.

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“The type of hobbies one chooses reflect in part of what type of person you are.” And in turn it influences your daily job, whether you notice it or not. Some of my previous blogs referred to my love for rugby, and what rugby can teach people working on projects. Earlier this year I read an article in the newspaper about a Belgian woman who, thanks to her yoga skills, survived 5 days in the Australian bush. It made me think about yoga and how my hobbies influence my job, or rather how I unconsciously use my passions in my job.

Yoga vs. project management

The article mentioned a quote from Véronique Biunkens:

“I used to be a Project Manager, and through my yoga I learned how I could calm myself whenever I started to feel anxious.”


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