Vlerick and Het Financieele Dagblad join forces on the digital transition

Source: Het Financieele Dagblad (12 November 2016)

In June 2017, the Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad and Vlerick Business School will publish the first Transformers 200. This is a ranking of leading Dutch companies that are pioneers in the digital transition.

People who look at their telephone these days see more than just a telephone. They see a bank, a bookshop, a travel agency, and more. Small icons with big content. About the new, digital relationship between companies and their clients. About new methods for conducting market research and improving products. About a radical new business model. About human talent that nobody really noticed at first and is now worth its weight in gold. About an epic reorganisation of the company as a whole.

The digitalisation of a company still involves a process of trial and error. There are trendsetters and followers, successful and less successful companies. However, it is the only way. Anyone who fails to master this transformation will ultimately lose out to the nimble competitors who do have their affairs in order.

Het Financieele Dagblad and Vlerick Business School are taking a good look behind the scenes at the 200 largest Dutch companies. Using a transparent method developed by Vlerick, we examine who has really mastered the game.

As a result, we hope to provide unique insights into the dos and don’ts of digitalisation. And we will continue to do so every year. After all, if there is one theme in which change is a constant, it is this transformation.

Why are Het Financieele Dagblad and Vlerick joining forces?

Transformers 200 is a collaborative venture launched by two parties with a proven track record in the digital arena. Het Financieele Dagblad, founded in 1796, is the first Dutch newspaper that employs editors who write exclusively for the internet. The paper edition is compiled separately. According to the renowned Financial Times ranking, Vlerick Business School in Ghent and Leuven offers the best course in the Benelux for ‘executive education’ (and for five years in a row, no less). In addition, it has a solid reputation in the field of digital operations and strategy.

What is the Vlerick method?

The research into the 200 largest Dutch companies is based on the ‘Exconomy model’ developed by Professor Stijn Viaene. This model focuses on various new ‘realities’ of the modern economy, such as: (1) the digital experience forms an important part of the value of a product, (2) clients are moving targets, (3) value is created jointly in an ecosystem of companies, via digital platforms.

A keen interest in experimentation is of the essence in this, as is the ability to create unusual digital experiences and to collaborate with partners and clients. Vlerick’s research is based partly on research and partly on interviews with chief information officers and other digital leaders.

Which publications and events can we expect?

In June 2017, Het Financieele Dagblad and Vlerick will publish Transformers 200 in two variants: (1) a magazine featuring rankings and sub-rankings in a diversity of sectors, including background information and case studies; (2) an interactive ranking which is designed as a modern ‘digital journey’. The magazine will be presented during a separate event at which interested parties will have the opportunity to speak directly with Vlerick’s experts and exchange experiences.

In the run-up to Transformers 200, the ‘Morgen’ (Tomorrow) section in the Saturday edition of Het Financieele Dagblad will publish a monthly series of articles. These will include case studies from the financial and B2B sectors and interviews with various CIOs. The series is being kicked off with an interview with Steve Muylle, one of the research leaders in Ghent.

Transformers 200 is a collaborative venture launched by Het Financieele Dagblad and Vlerick Business School.

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