Service-minded, both front and backstage

“I myself would also rather be customer of a service-minded organisation”, says Gregory Huet at the end of our interview. Gregory, who helps transforming Colruyt Group’s IT department into a Service-Oriented Organisation, sees how this transformation is already bearing fruit.

Tags Strategy

Gregory, what are the advantages of this new, service-oriented organisation?

“Our internal partners (store formats, technical departments etc.) get a much clearer view of the delivered ICT services. This allows them to assess better what they need or to set priorities easily. It’s mainly a practical canvas, in which it’s much easier to engage in a discussion with the partner, even about maintenance or follow-up for example.

Because we map out our services minutely, it’s also easier to identify overlap and dependencies. This creates clarity and results in more realistic assessments of what is possible. In addition, as an IT department we are also working hard on the integration of a reporting system in our online tooling, in which we will be able to map out not only the flows and incidents but also their impact. We are really progressive in this respect; ideally, it would become a fully automated process.”

Gregory Huet Gregory Huet

The transformation into a service-oriented organisation started in June 2019?

“In June 2019, our IT organisation indeed launched the conversion from 30 departments to 30 service centres, in which each service centre offers services to a partner at Colruyt Group. The aim of this switch is to evolve from simply offering ICT solutions to complete services with clear agreements on scope, timing and quality of the service.

Step 1 in this transformation: identifying and documenting what we are offering now. Meticulous work, in which we really disentangle and unravel ICT solutions and services, map out dependencies with other service centres and make unclear or tacit agreements with our internal partners explicit. As a project team, we offer the service centres support in this process.”

How does this support work?

“We resolutely choose co-creation with the service centre. The first step is that our project team visits the person in charge of the service centre. We clarify the concepts, appoint a contact and ask about what is necessary in terms of resources and means. After that, we organise a kick-off and carry out a first measurement. Then, it’s the co-worker’s turn, supported by our contact. Different people examine the ICT solutions, each from their own point of view. The combination of all these different views results in documenting and drawing up a new service operating model.”

How have the reactions been so far?

“It’s a project a lot of people collaborate on. Most colleagues certainly see the advantages. It’s not a revolution, but a healthy evolution. We ask our partners: how does our service fit in with the services you offer or want to offer? This allows you to link them to each other and eventually offer new services as well, like Lego bricks you can combine. This creates more agility and more possibilities for innovation.

Moreover, the transformation isn’t an abstract process either: there’s a community of stakeholders sharing experiences, we’ve already organised a hackathon to solve a problem, we touch base with the change agents in our organisation for example … This creates great dynamics. I’m happy to be part of this, because this conversion also comes with a service-oriented mindset. And this is ultimately translated in the stores: I hope that this — perhaps somewhat IT-technical — exercise also contributes to the readiness to serve we showcase as Colruyt Group.”