In 2013, Royal Philips was two years into a daunting transformation. Following declining financial performance, CEO Frans van Houten aimed to turn the Dutch icon into a "high-performing company" by 2017. This case study examines the challenges of the business-driven IT transformation at Royal Philips, a diversified technology company. The case discusses three crucial issues. First, the case reflects on Philips' aim at creating value from combining locally relevant products and services while also leveraging its global scale and scope. Rewarded and unrewarded business complexity is analyzed. Second, the case identifies the need to design and align multiple elements of an enterprise (organizational, cultural, technical) to balance local responsiveness with global scale. Third, the case explains the role of IT (as an asset instead of a liability) in Philips' transformation and discusses the new IT landscape with its digital platforms, and the new practices to create effective business-IT partnerships.

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Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Mocker, M., & van Heck, E. (2015). Business-driven IT transformation at Royal Philips: Shedding light on (un)rewarded complexity. Retrieved from