Paul Danneels will go down in history as one of the first Belgian CIOs to have integrated Google’s public cloud applications (Google Apps) in his organisation. He is helping VDAB to move towards a new business model. ICT is an enabler for VDAB to create a new eco system to orchestrate the labour market. As part of this new open platform, Paul Danneels has integrated Google’s public cloud applications (Google Apps) in his organisation. In his estimation, this Google project was “one of the easiest IT projects from a technical and organisational viewpoint” in his career. “Hardly any support was needed for users, and we are still discovering new collaboration possibilities all the time”, he says. That’s remarkable praise, considering that Danneels has quite a number of large IT projects under his belt.
He spent a large part of his career at vendors, what he regards as a big advantage: “If you understand each other’s interests, it’s easier to collaborate.” After spending some years as a research assistant at Vlerick, he joined CSC, where he contributed to the expansion of the European organisation. After a stay of 14 years, he joined IBM in 2001. Four years later, he became CIO of the Federal Agency for Safety of the Food Chain. He also assisted at the start-up of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products.
Since September 2007, he has been working for VDAB, an organisation with a workforce of 5,000. His team consists of 70 in-house and 150 external ICT staff. “We do a lot of subcontracting, because it results in greater flexibility.” At present, he is implementing his second ‘strategic ICT plan’. “At VDAB, we aim to stay ahead of the game in ICT. We also want to see how changing your technological viewpoint at work can reduce the pressure on budgets and your personnel.”