Digital transformation: past, present, and future

3 October 2022

The time for digitisation is now - not later, tomorrow, or next week. At iO we have been telling this same story for some time now, and it continues to be relevant. In recent years digitisation has proven itself to be, and continues to be essential, the user is still central, and the growth of digital consumers has - as was predicted - only accelerated.

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Today, digital transformation is still relevant, desperately needed, and ubiquitous – and it will continue to be so in the future. Do you feel like you've missed the digital transformation moment and are now falling behind into a divide that you can no longer bridge?

Spoiler alert: it's never too late to think about your own digital transformation. Let’s take a look at what hasn’t changed in recent years.

1. Digital transformation is still about more than just technology

It's about your organisation as a whole, from the internal processes to your company culture. The end goal? An agile company that puts the customer first and where digital is the norm.

Customers only have one big expectation, both in B2B and B2C: through whichever channel they come into contact with your company, they want a consistent and flawless customer experience. In that area, the frontrunners set themselves apart from the rest.

Digitisation gives you have everything you need to deliver that optimal customer experience. Today and in the future, online and offline. It’s about the mindset that your entire company should adopt and targeted adjustments that you make to your operation.

What matters most when you use new technologies that they always add value for the user. But the most important priority has to be that you have the basics in order. Your customers expect to find extensive product information online with high-quality product photos, and preferably a product video. Start with the basics and then expand where necessary.

2. Digitisation is still an organisation-wide mindset

The entire organisation should be part of your digital transformation. The most common, current domains in which digitisation prepares companies for tomorrow are HR, education, and marketing.

One of the fastest evolving branches of transformation is undoubtedly marketing, or the different ways in which customers can connect with your brand. A good marketer makes a portion of the marketing budget available every year for experimentation in new channels. Online marketing is more accessible than ever, and also more measurable than ever before, so the risks are small.

In the field of HR and employer branding, the war for talent is raging hard. If you want to stay at the top of the pack in HR, then the right digital approach is indispensable. Initiatives such as Google for Jobs are changing the careers landscape and (potential) employees expect to know more than ever what your company stands for.

Belgium and the Netherlands are textbook examples of knowledge economies. Constantly upskilling and staying up-to-date is essential for both people and companies to stay ahead. There are also some important challenges and opportunities where digitisation will play a decisive role.

3. The consumer has become more digitally zero-tolerant

Digital frontrunners have ensured in the past that users have developed zero tolerance for anything less than digital excellence in online services. Users have little patience and understanding for errors in the world of digital tools, platforms, and accessibility.

B2B or B2C, customers want to be able to go through their customer journey smoothly, without obstacles. Digitisation helps to make that possible in a manageable way.

Even today, the digital willingness of consumers continues to develop at a rapid pace. Those who used hoped to just wait and see what developed with online shopping, digital administration and chatting with support staff, were forced to adjust their behaviours.

But even in B2B, digital zero tolerance has only become more of a challenge. B2B customers are also B2C users in the evening and carry those expectations into their professional lives. If you adjust your business operations accordingly, you can easily keep up with the digital pace of every customer.

In addition, you should not lose sight of the fact that digitisation is about the bigger picture, including the offline customer experience. In a transformation, therefore, operational business procedures often have to be adjusted or even completely renewed to guarantee smooth working methods in all areas.

Our experts are (still) ready

Digitisation offers your organisation the agility you need to respond to a changing world. Those who take the necessary steps today can provide the best possible customer and brand experience tomorrow. In new ways and in new markets, with a future-oriented business model.

And yes, we are still continuously developing our knowledge and experience with digital transformation. Our experts will help you identify and address the necessary areas for improvement. It's never too late for digital transformation. Today, tomorrow and for a long, long time into the future.

Do you want to learn more about digital transformation? Then you're in the right place , download our whitepaper 'Digital transformation as an engine of sustainable growth' and expand your knowledge.

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