Digital business strategy: from follower to leader

By Joost van Lier

Van 't Hek Group is a contractor in the field of foundation engineering. Van 't Hek has a predilection for a number of specialties, such as working on the water, along the railroad and in the inner city and, of course, realizing complete cofferdams. In addition, the company is a leader in vibration-free and low-noise techniques. Here, Van 't Hek often realizes the difficult, complex projects. Their innovative capacity makes them the leader in the Netherlands in diversity of vibration-free and low-noise foundation techniques. With an annual turnover of €123 million, it is now one of the fastest growing companies in the construction sector (source: Cobouw).

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"Van 't Hek has been growing for years, the use of ICT is also growing along with it. ICT now makes a modest contribution to company strategy and objectives and is mainly focused on internal automation. However, now the time has come to also see ICT as an 'enabler' for further growth," said Ted Van 't Hek, director at Van 't Hek Group. 

Together with various key stakeholders at Van 't Hek, Highberg (formerly VKA) set up a digital business strategy. By means of analyses, scans, interviews and workshops, the environment of Van 't Hek was mapped out and how Van 't Hek acts on this on the basis of its strategy. In addition, the organization, IT policy and current IT projects were examined and opportunities for improvement were identified

The result

An important outcome of the approach is a vision on ICT and information provision. Together with executives and key stakeholders, principles were drawn up that determine and guide the organization of information services at Van 't Hek.

The various recommendations and ideas for digitalization have been compiled into a roadmap of projects. This allows Van 't Hek to make a targeted start on implementing improvements in ICT and its ICT organization. Themes such as data, cloud, digitalization and transformation and its own IT organization are addressed here.

Van 't Hek will also grow toward a hybrid cloud environment in the future. Increased use of SaaS solutions will increase flexibility and scalability, using modern technology in the field of security.

Highberg has identified several initiatives that will lead to further digitalization of work processes at Van 't Hek. This will make the use of apps, including in the construction pit, a reality. Data can be processed faster and used for even better analyses and calculations that benefit the quality of the foundation.

The digital business strategy also helps Van 't Hek plan for product innovations. These innovations help Van 't Hek to maintain and expand its leading role in complex foundation projects in the future as well.

To manage all the changes, Highberg is helping Van 't Hek with the professionalization of its information management function. A beautiful and professional department of ICT professionals working in a structured and focused way on the digital transformation at Van 't Hek.

Want to know more about this Digital Business Strategy? Then please contact Joost van Lier.

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