Interview with ilionx director Sjoerd Hobo: “I immediately fell in love with the Techionista concept”

Techionista Academy collaborates with various business partners in the IT and tech industry. One of them is ilionx: an IT consultancy firm with a high priority for diversity. We spoke to Sjoerd Hobo, director of the Amsterdam office. “Men and women are different. That’s true. But that is precisely the strength.”

Digital transformation

According to Hobo, the world is in full ‘digital transformation’. “This development is stronger than before, particularly due to corona. Many companies are digitizing, including those for which it previously seemed impossible.” This creates an enormous demand for good IT consultants, notes the director of ilionx. “The scarcity is great. Therefore, it’s sometimes difficult to grow or even to maintain on the same level. ”

Fortunately, the company recently got to know Techionista Academy. Hobo: “I immediately fell in love with the concept. First of all, because you train skilled ladies in technology and because of the beautiful people behind the company. Tamira and Vivianne work with such a great passion and put so much experience, soul and bliss into this brand and the training: the whole picture was just right for us.”

Unfortunately there are not enough trained talents. Therefore, it’s sometimes difficult to grow, or even to maintain on the same level’

Diversity in the workplace

According to Hobo, the IT world has traditionally been a “men’s industry”, but he does not participate in that. “We are looking for people with different origins, genders, and faiths. We attach great value to diversity and have the ambition to keep it top priority. Diversity is one of the best things you can have in your company.”

“Diversity delivers”, Hobo says convinced. “The workplace must be a reflection of real life. You don’t stand in a bar with only men, do you? Diversity works – and delivers. It is a good blueprint for many of the core values ​​of a company. It would be a shame not to implement this even more within companies.”

Hobo also thinks that hiring (as many) women (as men) is good for stimulating creativity. “If you only operate with like-minded people, there is little creation. If you work with different people, you are guaranteed a better atmosphere, more creativity, and a better result.”

“Men and women are different. That’s true. But that’s good. A core value at ilionx is “strong together”. Then we would really miss the point if we only worked with men, right?”

Collaboration with Techionista

Hobo sees the collaboration with Techionista as something beautiful. “By partnering with Techionista Academy, three things came together for us: diversity, but also value and experience. Techionista graduates are often ladies with a rich working history. They have seen and experienced a lot, often in positions other than IT.”

“Especially the women with a completely different background – and a well-filled CV – come as a gift to us, because they can combine their previous work experience with the IT knowledge they gain during the Academy. Perfect.”

Techionistas at work

A number of Techionistas have already started at ilionx, after completing the Academy. “That’s going very well. We believe it is important that our employees speak the language of our customers. Techionistas do. In combination with the leadership and vision behind the organization, our collaboration is, therefore, a good match. We are really looking forward to new Techionistas who want to join us in consultancy,” says Hobo.

Projects that you can count on as a consultant at ilionx mainly take place in the government, finance, and retail sectors. “Take Judeska as an example. She was our first Techionista and is now involved with the UWV as a business analyst.”

Enough work in the IT industry

As a (graduated) Techinionista, you don’t have to worry that there will be no work for you in the future, says Hobo. “The IT industry will continue to grow for a while in the near future. It seems as if the industry is already huge, but we are not even halfway there. ”

“Many components are needed to run a successful business. IT plays a role in all those components. All those IT systems contain a lot of structured data from which a lot of information can be retrieved.”

In addition to the aforementioned structured data, more and more unstructured data is now also available. “Every device you can imagine generates data. Think of TVs, cars, or telephones.”

“We call this IoT: Internet of Things. All digital devices we use are ‘connected’ to the internet and therefore create data, which is extremely valuable if you know how to integrate it with the available structured data. Translating that data into information is a profession in itself – and extremely useful if you want to grow your business.”

Improve performance with data

According to Hobo – who has also been active as a data consultant for many years – ilionx is very involved in capitalizing on available and integrated data. “We know what to do with it, to conclude whether something is going well or not, for example. The more data you collect from the past, the better you can draw a conclusion – and even more interesting: with enough data you can even predict what will happen.”

“For example, does a certain product not sell well? Then we look for the cause via the data. This is called business intelligence. As an organization collects more and more data, it may become possible to predict what will happen. Prevention is better than cure, right? We call the latter data science.”

Are you thinking about attending the Academy? Then Hobo has another good tip. “Get in with a clear goal. You can start and think, “Well, I’ll just see what happens.” But I think a dot on the horizon is key in a process like this one. ‘Think of Techionista Academy as one of the many roads that lead to Rome. And always think 1 or 2 steps ahead What are you going to do next?”