Aloys Kregting, second-time winner of the CIO of the Year Award and currently still the CIO at DSM, has recently taken office as a board member at EuroCIO. Although the portfolios and roles have not been allocated among the board members yet, the new AkzoNobel CIO would prefer to take care of the communication activities of the European CIO organisation.
According to Kregting ‘collaboration with speed’ is what matters within EuroCIO: growing stronger fast by collaboration, not only as IT directors, companies and CIO country organisations, but also as Europe as a whole. “Time is short, for the competition is not idling about,” the current DSM CIO says, who will set to work at AkzoNobel by mid December, combining his roles at AkzoNobel and DSM during the first quarter of 2016.
Kregting has joined the board for two reasons. “Firstly, I like the fact that EuroCIO brings people from different cultures and companies together. The international dynamics generated by this very interesting approach is most inspiring. Additionally, I notice that much is being done here at EuroCIO to bring about a new kind of enthusiasm for the role of IT in companies and economies. Don’t underestimate the willingness to change, learn and move forward.”
At EuroCIO, Aloys Kregting is going to do what he does best as the CIO at DSM as well: taking people along in change. Enticement is a crucial aspect in this process. “You should offer people an attractive perspective,” the IT director says; almost seven years ago, he swapped his position at Numico – which had been taken over by Danone – for one at the multinational specialised in life sciences and materials sciences. “The commitment created in this way helps the organisation move forward.”
“We have to join forces and take a stand for the European economy”
Enhancing the members’ commitment is one of Kregting’s major ambitions, although he does not want to imply that commitment is currently in a deplorable state. He does observe, however, that the larger country organisations, such as those of France and Germany, have a relatively strong influence on the course. “On the one hand, this is logical, for there is no denying that they have a great record of service. On the other hand, it wouldn’t do any harm if the other country organisations also speak up for themselves – in an open dialogue, that is.”
The European interest would benefit from this, the DSM CIO thinks. “As Europe we have to compete with the other large continents – Asia Pacific and the American regions. If we remain focused on ourselves as European organisations and countries, we will definitely lose the competition. We have to join forces, and as CIOs we have to take a stand for the European economy from our unique competencies and influence. I admit that time is short, but it is not too short. The good news is that other continents are currently facing their own challenges.”
According to Kregting, a European concentration of forces could be demonstrated in the fight against cyber crime. “This subject is not restricted to the Netherlands alone and therefore requires a cross-border approach. Together we can mitigate the risks.”
Kregting is currently working hard at DSM on unfolding the strategy for the next five years. “The company is subject to constant change. IT and shared services, which are part of my responsibilities, are getting more important, so work will be added. To take our people along in these changes, we organise sessions in which we communicate everything. It’s a great and interesting part of my job.”