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How digital are Belgian companies really? View the full report

To accelerate the digitalisation of Belgian companies: that is the ambition of Fastfwd Belgium in a nutshell. But before we could do this, we needed a baseline measurement. A kind of digital maturity scan for Belgian organisations across all sectors. Together with McKinsey, this is exactly what we did. 

View the full report here.

Above average, but room for improvement

Over the past months, a sample of nearly 80 Belgian companies (from all sectors and of different sizes) participated in a detailed "maturity scan" based on McKinsey's Digital Quotient (DQ) methodology. DQ measures a company's digital maturity on 5 key dimensions (Strategy, Organisation and Talent, Agile and Culture, Capabilities - data and technology, and Adoption and Scale) and 32 management practices. 

In this way, the consultancy was able to accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses of each company. These were delivered to each respondent in an individual report and viewed in aggregate. These aggregated results were published today.

This shows that Belgian companies have a DQ score slightly above the global average (39 versus 34). In our country, the TMT sector (telecom, media and technology), with a DQ score of 46, is the best student in the class. In second and third place we find the financial sector (DQ 42) and the public and social actors (DQ 40).

According to McKinsey's conclusions, Belgian companies are doing well in terms of strategy, technology and building ecosystems and partnerships, but they are lagging behind when it comes to data, scale and talent. For example, only 1 in 5 Belgian companies indicates that they are currently extracting sufficient insights from their data to have a significant impact on business results. The same number says that analytics are already having an impact on their business. Only 1 in 4 feels able to attract digital talent. 

It is also notable that Belgian digital leaders (companies with a DQ score in the top 20%) score above average on every dimension measured. Finally, it appears that the size of a company does not have a decisive impact on its digital performance. Indeed, in the results we notice that SMEs do not lag behind the big players and that no less than 30% of the Belgian leaders are SMEs.

Ruben Schaubroeck, Senior Partner at McKinsey is enthusiastic about the results of this research. "This in-depth research shows that Belgium has the potential to take on the role of a digital leader across different sectors," says Schaubroeck. "By working on the specific areas for improvement from the research, and armed with the knowledge and talent we have in Belgium, we can make it to the world top."

Tom Pluym, Partner at McKinsey adds. "Belgian companies do indeed have a solid base to compete in this digital age. In particular, they are strong in terms of inter-company collaboration and local knowledge exchange. Yet coordinated measures to increase analytics capabilities, or to close the digital talent gap, could help to further strengthen the competitiveness of Belgian companies."

Looking at the Belgian leaders

The figures of this research offer Fastfwd many new insights. "With McKinsey's results we were able to set a benchmark for digitalisation in Belgium," says Stefan Dierckx, CEO of the Projective Group. "In order to keep our finger on the pulse, we will perform the Digital Maturity Scan annually. We draw important lessons from this, which allow us to adopt a more targeted approach. Small adjustments are often enough to lift companies to a higher level."

One of the most important findings this year was the fact that the so-called digital champions are real pioneers. "This is what we want to capitalise on," explains Dierckx. "These champions have mastered many technologies and methods that can inspire other companies. By means of Go & See sessions, we want to bring the management of small and large companies into contact with the digital champions in order to provide answers to the how, what and why." This month Fastfwd will kick off its first series of Go & See sessions. These will take place in organisations from different sectors. Imec, VDAB, Telenet, Showpad, Belfius and 18 other companies have already confirmed their cooperation. The complete list can be consulted here

The full report of Fastfwd Belgium's Digital Maturity Scan can be consulted here. Companies can also register for the first Go & See sessions on our website.

Stefan Dierckx
CEO, Projective & Exellys

How digital are Belgian companies really?

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