Last year was a successful year for ICT, as we took many steps in the execution of our strategy. We continued with a clear focus on what we try to accomplish every day: making the world a bit smarter. We relentlessly lived up to our slogan: challenge us. We have challenged ourselves, each other and just as importantly our clients. And vice versa, obviously.

Our clients once again challenged us with complex and challenging projects that we successfully completed. I am proud of the energy this released. Just as I am proud of the performance we delivered last year.

We continued on our path of creating an even more customer centric organisation. Combined with the revival of entrepreneurship throughout the company, this translated into healthy organic growth. The add-on acquisitions we made last year further enhanced our position in our three main themes: Smarter Industry, Smarter Cities and Smarter Health. These acquisitions accelerated the transformation of ICT from a secondment provider to a company able to fully manage large and complex projects and develop and sell its own proprietary software. ICT is well on track to becoming one of the largest Industrial Technology players in the Netherlands.

In 2016, we continued to challenge our people to innovate and to be more entrepreneurial. And we did it successfully. We originated a whole range of new business development initiatives. At the same time, we continued to take a disciplined approach, using lean start up processes to assess, identify and develop viable business propositions. This results in early go-no go decisions, but also enables us to move full speed ahead when the project is promising. Last year, we also launched the smart platform concepts, which combine technology with industry expertise. Partnerships are at the heart of these developments, from the support of lean start-up initiatives to collaboration with many other high tech and ICT companies.

New business development is key to ICT’s overall development. I personally dedicate a significant amount of my time to coaching our people on how to turn new business development initiatives into commercial successes. We will continue to invest substantially in new technologies and the development of new solutions. We defined our strategy in 2015, delivered on an accelerated execution in 2016, and are excited to continue our successful strategy and further build on our strong foundation in 2017. Our acquisition strategy is aimed at achieving strong positions in each of our three main themes. By developing solutions tailored to the needs of the healthcare sector and vital public infrastructure, our aim is to make the world a bit smarter. In everything we do, in all our solutions, every single day.

And we will continue to challenge ourselves. Our goal is to outperform the market in terms of organic growth, in a market environment that is picking up. This offers ample room for growth, although the very tight labour market remains a potential bottleneck. Attracting fresh talent and retaining our people continues to be one of our key priorities. We want to remain an employer of choice by nourishing our culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. A culture in which people feel energised by the way we work and what we strive to accomplish.

I would like to thank all of our people. ICT is about technology, but our people are the company’s real value drivers. Our over 950 colleagues are passionate about technology, a language so powerful that it binds 23 nationalities in one group. I look forward to continuing to build this company together, and creating an environment in which we value challenging and being challenged, bringing out the best in ourselves, and making the world a bit smarter at the same time.

Jos Blejie