The year 2021 brought us together in shared knowledge and insight. A number of topics remain current and will have their place in the 2022 meetings. For now, we take you through 10 goodies from topics that made our networking hearts skip a beat or just beat faster. Click on the + in the bar to unwrap each goodie. Have fun.

GOODIE 1/ The 'Can Do Lawyer' as driver of innovative ICT procurement

How can you buy ICT more innovatively?

If ICT procurement wants to keep up with the times, things have to be more innovative. There is room for improvement in both the approach of the procurement department, and the vision of the legal department as well as the involvement of business side. This has a huge impact on more innovative ICT procurement. Based on the annual insights provided by Pianoo (Expertise Center for Procurement of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate), organizations see that things can and must be done differently. One such organization is the Tax and Customs Administration, which used this information to gather more information about how things can and must be done differently. 

With the cooperation of NEVI, Vested, the "can do" lawyer, Pianoo, and several members of IT Circle Netherlands, among others, the following best practices emerged during this webinar: 

  • Take advantage of a superbrainstorm (Utrecht University) 
  • Really engage with your ICT suppliers and dare to stick your neck out (Tax Office) 
  • Don't try to reinvent the wheel yourself, engage in partnerships or join the Buyer Group ICT (SURF/Residence) 
  • Create buy-in collaboration with industry peers and learn from each other (KPN) 
  • Involve the legal department early in the procurement process and apply the innovation partnership procedure more often.  

    Innovative purchasing also has sustainable results if you challenge your suppliers in this area, think Circular Purchasing. If you create scale then you create impact and as a buyer/procurement organization you really contribute to the sustainability of ICT. To stimulate this collaboration, the Circular & Fair ICT pact was created. A combination of public and private organizations, suppliers and buyers who all have the same ambition: to become more sustainable.

    GOODIE 2/ How can you leverage data even though it doesn't belong to you?

    Jointly analyze sensitive data

    It helps organizations when you have more data than just your own to optimize your services. It is the new power for organizations to differentiate and accelerate. But data sharing has many objections, think ethical concerns and technical challenges, among others. Yet it is highly desirable in certain cases, but how do you do it properly?  

    Through Privacy Enhanced Technologies (PET) it is possible to use data from other organizations, without actually having the data. TNO shared the technical possibilities that have been developed for this purpose, such as Secure set intersection (comparing encrypted data on certain elements) or Homomorphic encryption (performing calculations on encrypted data) or Secret sharing. And SVB has already proven that this can be done in practice. With what did SVB prove this?  

    And SVB has demonstrated through a pilot that it works. Dutch citizens who do not receive (full) AOW can get a supplement if they live below subsistence level, the AIO. Non-use of AIO is too high. To increase usage, SVB has decided to proactively approach elderly people. For this, SVB itself does not yet have the complete data and income information is needed from UWV. The paradox is that this data must be shared while maintaining privacy and confidentiality. Sharing data is not the goal, but demonstrating the added value of cooperation. This by means of PET, resulting in joint, distributed processing on each other's confidential data, without sharing it and with the result from a calculation! 

    Some preconditions that are important: 

    • Make sure there is legal ground 
    • It must be a scalable solution 
    • It must fit within the strategic and cultural values of the organization 

    But it goes much further, and that has our attention in 2022What is going to happen? What has our attention? 

    MPC is cutting edge technology which we will explore even further in 2022 in collaboration with TNO, Surf, Dexes and NL AIC. We will share other Proof of Concepts, dive into other PET techniques and also give the legal issue more attention. 

    GOODIE 3/ Change does not happen overnight

    People, Process & Technology

    Change is of every day, and is a constant factor within organizations. If you want to be agile, and anticipate the world around you, you have to move with the times. This impacts your employees, your processes and the technology you deploy. And you need to consider all of these pillars. 


    Rabobank shared its change charge across the axis of People, where adapting behavior proves to be the biggest challenge; "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligence but the one most responsive to change." Breaking behavioral patterns is complex, these are often learned characteristics and beliefs. The role or group you are in also influences your behavior and actions. This breaking through and recalibration is not done overnight.  

    • Across the human axis, it is important to be able to influence behavioral patterns 
    • There must be intrinsic motivation to change 
    • A new role or function must be clear so that a person can identify with it. 
    • Observe values and standards.  


    If you want to increase your mobility and scalability, technical changes are essential, which is what CSU realized in 2018. And have decided at that time to go to cloud only with the goal of operating place, time and device independent. This changed the organization itself, but as a positive consequence also its services. The use of cloud, smart devices, sensoring and machine learning has made the organization a leader in its industry.  

    • Involve all stakeholders in the change, the reason for change and the technical choices. 
    • This involvement increases adaptation; after all, it's not an IT party.  
    • Get communication right, also use the power of repetition. 


    If your existing processes are impeding your organization's (IT) development, the need is clear. But process changes are not noticeable until they are demonstrably successful. That's why Police has set up a large-scale change process under the name Production House. And thereby secures the trajectory from idea to development. By deploying DevOps approach for application renewal, run and change, by looking at the supply of work from the teams and by working together multidisciplinary in the chain, this has been realized. 

    • Changes across axis of process are complex, but do-able 
    • Make clear choices about which methodology to use 
    • Involve business and IT 
    • Demonstrate that a new process is actually delivering results, make this clear, and keep it constant so that it has an effect on other processes. 
    • Ensure that development and management processes come together properly.  

    With all change, it is hugely important that the 'Why', the 'How' and the 'What' are well described and secured. Take your time, keep the overview and share the (interim) results. In 2022 we will continue on this and delve into the issues of change across the chain, among others. 

    GOODIE 4/ The Power of Peer Reviews

    Together you are stronger, sharing is important.

    How can you ensure place, location and device independent working? How do you hook a new value stream into your PI planning, speaking the same language as the business and getting mandate? And how can you ensure the proper setup of your CMDB, as a central starting point for managing the assets in your organization? Just a few of the questions that were central during peer reviews scheduled this year.  

    Peer review is one of the most powerful tools available to IT Circle Netherlands to help a member move forward! In a private group, you can have the plan or problem you have reviewed by your peers. As can be seen from the listing of topics, this can be organized on a wide variety of issues. From technical content, to strategic to process level, there is room for all different issues. Because the information shared is confidential, we can only share some generic learnings:  

    • Always get management buy-in; any change without buy-in from management is hopeless.  
    • Think carefully about the narrative and the why of the change, to get people on board with the story.  
    • Distinguish clearly between goal of the change and the means you can use to achieve that goal, these are often confused. 

    Would you also like to have a plan you have reviewed by your peers? Or have you initiated a change and are stuck? Then contact us to organize a peer review! 

    GOODIE 5/ Organizational tilt from specialty teams to value streams

    Value creation for the business can be achieved by providing the right products and services in a timely manner; when this is not done, problems arise.
    By scaling and scheduling work during a PI event, one member found that there were too many dependencies between teams. Because of those dependencies, the predictability of work decreased significantly, resulting in products and services not being delivered on time. To solve this, the organization was tilted, from specialist teams to value streams, with multiple disciplines working together. 

    How can organizational change lead to greater job satisfaction, effectiveness and productivity? This question was leading during this session, where a glimpse was given into the tilt to become a more product-oriented organization. One of the success factors noted during the tilt was, first of all, preparing employees for the why question of the change to product-oriented teams. The change that was initiated was aimed at a new way of working and was not a personnel reorganization. Therefore, all employees were also allowed to express a preference for a team in which he or she could contribute to the realization of a product or service. The products and services were also defined in consultation with the employees. One year on, the tilt is still very successful. Essentially, dependencies between teams have been greatly reduced and it is clear who the leader is, which has resulted in a sharp increase in predictability from 50-70% to 90-100%. 

    Some key take-aways from this session:  

    • Create safety, everyone participates and there is room for everyone.
    • Clearly define products and services.
    • Properly delegate ownership of products and services, with responsibility and mandate in the form of budget and resources.
    • Minimize dependencies between teams, for greater predictability.
    GOODIE 6/ The power of good record keeping

    What do we record and why?

    The value of good record keeping is essential in an organization's operations. What do we own, what licenses are in place and when do they expire? And where are our assets, just a selection of valuable information. If you have this in order, you will reap the benefits.  

    A well-organized CMDB process and a well-organized CMDB offer that advantage. And that was evident throughout the various sessions. From the basics in order, to CMDB as a strategic pillar and how best to set up tooling. Because setting up the CMDB properly is no easy task, this year's program included the CMDB Basics in Order session. Some key learnings from this session include:  

    • Start small: touch all processes and demonstrate added value 
    • Instantly set up asset management when you implement a new tool 
    • All information can be included in CMDB, but avoid recording personal data as much as possible 
    • CMDB is difficult to express in terms of revenue, but it adds a lot of value. 
    • For convincing stakeholders, having a sponsor in the MT and a primary "sales pitch" are important. 

    And whether CMDB maintenance can be properly automated, we'll see in 2022! 

    GOODIE 7/ Take the machine out of man, unlocking digital potential

    The strength of people is that they can think

    People also make mistakes in their work and these lead to delays, to unnecessary interventions and to frustration. Many (work) processes can be automated, often in simple ways without leading to huge development projects. Through the use of Robotics, these kinds of processes are easy to automate, which gives the employee the opportunity to do what a human being is good at, namely thinking and using his/her unique qualities. Repetitive work becomes less, mistakes become fewer, work becomes more fun and challenging.  

    Robotic process automation is being deployed more and more at organizations and people are seeing many benefits. From 1 RPA solution to a few hundred robots, for very different solution approaches. 

    • Deploying RPA is often quick and effective 
    • Find an initial practical use case, and get the right PR in place 
    • Make the importance of the solution clear 
    • Involve business in realizing the solution 
    • Employees become more productive and satisfied 
    • RPA makes you more agile 

    One risk is that RPA will eventually need to be managed as well; organizations must continue to pay attention to that. In addition to that issue, in 2022 we will also go deeper into Hyperautomation, RPA & Security, Power Automate, among others. 

    GOODIE 8/ IT and Ethics, an eternal dilemma!

    Moral challenges in the IT playing field

    Information technology has a wide scope of application in education, business, healthcare, industry, banking and scientific research. With advances in information technology, it is necessary to have knowledge of security issues, privacy issues and the main negative consequences of IT. To deal with these problems in IT society, it is important to identify the ethical issues. Organizations are increasingly aware of this and are testing their IT projects against ethical values and standards. For example, the ethics matrix is a simple but effective tool for paying careful attention to its effect on the values of direct and indirect stakeholders early in the design process of digital innovations. Unwanted effects and possible tensions between values are thus identified and directly addressed in the design. During this interactive workshop, participants got an insight into the value of ethics for design of ethically sound and sustainable innovations based on a fictional case, mapped the values and stakeholders, and demonstrated how to include the values of different stakeholders in the design phase of a project. 

    • Can it (technology)?  
    • Is it allowed (privacy)?  
    • Do we want it (need/basis)? 
    • Can we in good conscience explain this to stakeholders (communications? 

      Other practical examples have also been discussed, and in 2022 we will also pay attention to this again across the axis of ethics and laws and regulations. 

      GOODIE 9/ Is help by a robot desired?

      Chatbots are the future of service.

      Rabobank started a process 3 years ago to deploy a Virtual Assistant for the Cross Channel Service Desk in the EU. During this session, attendees were taken through the process of setting up an (internal) virtual assistant: from idea to realization. In addition, the learning points that surfaced during the realization of the virtual assistant were also shared: what do you have to take into account and what are the pitfalls? The Chatbot issue appears to be a hot topic within many members, as more than 100 people had signed up for this session! The main learnings from this session were:  

      • Determine the available content for the chatbot by volume: the more a particular topic comes back in questions during live calls or in the numbers from Google Analytics, the sooner it will be added to the available content.   
      • The process behind the virtual assistant ensures that relatively little time needs to be spent on the virtual assistant. The information comes from a 2nd-line of content specialists.  
      • To avoid loops, the employee/customer is transferred after asking the same question twice.  
      • Employees of the live chat, if applicable, can see the online conversation. This saves a lot of time and ensures that the employee and customer do not have to repeat themselves.  
      • The virtual assistant learns best through a good and selective data feed.  
      • The implementation of a virtual assistant internally is a good exercise for the implementation externally. Internally, mistakes can still be made and improvements can be looked at, where this is less desirable for external contact. 
        GOODIE 10/ The power of the individual as a strength for the team

        How can you buy ICT more innovatively?

        Together we are stronger. It turns out that if you properly harness the power of a diverse and inclusive team it can soar to great heights. An inclusive organizational culture is an environment where employees are actively involved and included in the group; where employees can be themselves, feel free to express their opinions and where they can develop in a safe learning environment. Everyone in the organization has a role in making this happen.  

        • Provides security, then employees flourish 
        • Give confidence to develop 
        • Be transparent about the ambition of the organization, the manager and also the employee 
        • Provides the means to also give an employee the opportunity to develop regardless of background and/or disability 
        • As an organization, also make it possible for everyone to have access to your systems, organization, even buildings and workplace, lead by example! 

          And this is just the beginning! 

          Here's to an innovative and inspiring 2022

          It was a special year with many moments where we were connected.
          The coming year also holds many interesting moments where we can learn from and inspire each other.

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