"Komen Eten"

Column by Stijn Viaene, professor of Management Information Systems
(Source: Smart Business Strategies, March 2011)

  • Professor at KULeuven and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School
  • Partner at Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School
  • Deloitte Research Chair Bringing IT to Board Level

Without a doubt, Komen Eten – ‘Come on over for dinner’ – is the favourite soap of the past few years on Flemish television. Four perfect strangers take turns eating dinner at each other’s homes. An idea for the CIO? Undoubtedly. A total stranger today, a good friend tomorrow. Haven’t we been shouting for years now that the CIO should be more in the picture and deserves ‘a seat at the table’? You’re not so sure about that? Why not? I’m totally convinced. Your CIO is still an exceedingly interesting and multifaceted person, isn’t he? Nobody’s more in touch with the end-to-end business processes, for instance, than the CIO. So, you can bet that he’ll serve up a beautifully prepared meal and not just a random combination of ingredients. In fact, there’s a very good chance that we’re dealing with a born ‘fusion cooking’ talent here. The kitchen happens to catch on fire? With a CIO close at hand, you don’t even need to call on SOS Piet. In fact, the guy has the reputation of being a real fire-fighter. And he’s been working on the service for years. There’s simply nothing that can spoil this set-up anymore. If I didn’t have one yet, I’d acquire such a CIO immediately. You already have one? Congratulations! You’re lucky. But you don’t find him standing at the stove? He’s in the cellar, you say? That’s understandable. It’s actually not surprising to find the people who make up the real foundation of a company literally in the basement. That’s called ‘image building’. Have you ever seen the award-winning British TV series The IT Crowd? Hilarious show! Outrageous bunch. Entertainment guaranteed. And yes indeed, everything takes place – what did you expect? – in the cellar. With the excellent selection of wines that we usually find in this cellar, you can rest assured: this will be a successful “Komen Eten”. Cheers!

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