Johan Bogaard believes that CFOs have a duty to hold the course while keeping an eye on the horizon. ‘I see my role as filling the gap between new technologies and financial growth. The advantage of digitalisation is that lots of data is now available in real time, which helps us make better decisions. The CFO is responsible for making sure internal stakeholders don’t draw the wrong conclusions from the huge amounts of data now available to them. The challenge is keeping information continually up to date and coordinating with everyone so the Board can make informed decisions.’
CFO and CIO: Partnership for success
If there’s no CIO on a company’s board, then it’s up to the CFO to take the reins during digital initiatives. At Vibe Group, the strong partnership between the CFO and the IT Director is an important part of the company’s success. ‘I work very closely with our IT Director, Jasper Kamp, when it comes to making any decisions on process optimisation and the necessary adjustments to our IT landscape. I am very familiar with the primary processes within Vibe Group, so I can tell how changed will impact the IT landscape, but a CFO can never fill the role of a CIO or IT Director. I have the greatest respect for Jasper and his in-depth knowledge of technology. What he brings to the company is a structure for IT changes and adjustments to our IT landscape, with an understanding of what our business needs. Our skill sets and backgrounds lead to interesting discussions, with different perspectives on topics like finance, compliance, processes and technology’, says Bogaard.
Vibe Group has recently adjusted its technology strategy. The focus has shifted from an IT build strategy to an IT buy strategy, in which high-quality technologies are purchased from professional partners. In the future, in-house development will only take place if there is a competitive advantage. Bogaard emphasises that future investments in applications will focus on providing better support for Vibe Group’s contractors and clients and increasing the chances of creating a match between clients and candidates.
In Bogaard’s view, there is no question that the CIO should be a part of the Board: ‘Every IT professional, no matter which area they specialise in, is incredibly valuable, and IT is becoming exponentially more relevant. That means it deserves to be represented on the Board. Our technology strategy at Vibe Group is an important part of reaching our ambitious growth targets. So, as soon as we’ve reached the right scale, we will definitely be looking at how to position the CIO’s role.’
How Johan Bogaard moves Vibe Group into the future
How does Bogaard see the future of Vibe Group? ‘Right now, our focus is on making sure that our employees are well trained, so they are prepared to deal with the market conditions they are facing. Make no mistake: COVID-19 has had an enormous social and mental impact on consultants. That creates an important responsibility for us as employers. COVID has also taught us that our organisation is strong and the contractors that we offer in all different areas have a crucial role to fill with our clients.
Our focus for tomorrow is on expanding the growth of Vibe Group in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Our triple-specialisation approach makes us unique in the market when it comes to retaining and motivating top talent in the various areas of IT. What our clients and candidates appreciate about us is the quality that we bring to their projects and how quickly we act to meet their needs.’