PAC 2023 CxO Survey for Belgium – Trends and Challenges

Every year in Belgium, PAC asks CxOs from approximately a hundred organizations about their view and challenges in the Belgian market and where they are channeling IT investments to become an innovative, agile, resilient, and sustainable business.

The topics covered range from IT challenges, budget changes, cloud deployment, business application platforms, technology investments, cybersecurity, customer experience, and more. The CxOs stem from all major sectors and from businesses of all sizes, with nearly 60% working at enterprises of 1,000 or more employees.

The value PAC’s CxO Survey - Investment Priorities - InSight Analysis - Belgium brings to IT providers and users are twofold: on the one hand, it offers insights into investments and the maturity of Belgian organizations’ digital endeavors, while on the other hand, IT providers can leverage these insights to better align their go to market strategies. Below, we offer a brief insight into the main challenges and investment topics.

Main Challenges Among Belgian IT Decision Makers

From an economic standpoint, GDP growth, public finances, and government deficit remain under pressure. The recent inflation and high energy prices have led to Belgian businesses being more cautious in their IT spending – to find out more about PAC IT spending and growth insights, please consult PAC’s Software and IT Services Market Figures in Belgium and Software and IT Services Market Figures by Vertical. For Belgian rankings, please consult Software & IT Services - Vendor Rankings and Vertical Sectors - Vendor Rankings.

Cost reduction and efficiency pressure are seen as the biggest concerns. From an IT perspective, this translates into greater pressure on IT operations to reduce costs while boosting efficiency. A tall order considering nearly half of the survey respondents struggle to fill IT talent gaps necessary to support and execute digital transformation projects.  

At the same time, these businesses aim to improve the user and customer experience as needs and expectations have changed over the last few years. Personalized experiences are top of mind for customers, employees, and citizens, and well over 80% of the survey respondents said that the personalization of products and services is an important to central goal. However, Belgian-based organizations face significant challenges in accessing actionable insights due to multiple sources of truth, data duplication, knowledge siloes, and a lack of a common data layer and a coherent data & analytics strategy. For example, over half of the respondents said that data integration with back-office systems is a major challenge.

Cybersecurity is also a concern. The Center for Cybersecurity Belgium announced that it had received 4.4 million phishing messages in its Safeonweb's mailbox in H1 2023, nearly 2 million more than in H1 2022. DDoS attacks are also becoming bolder, during the summer of 2023, the websites of the Federal government, the prime minister, and the royal family were brought down using this method. Unsurprisingly, close to 75% indicated that they were compelled to introduce new or enhanced security measures due to either their own encounter with a cyberattack or a breach experienced by one of their supply chain partners.

Navigating the Path to Enhanced Efficiency

In the CxO Survey for Belgium, readers will find various investment topics. For example, investments in traditional AI, generative AI (Gen AI), RPA, and machine learning underpin innovation in analytics and data management, threat intelligence, virtual agents, and personalization; Nearly half (47%) will invest more in these technologies over the next two years.

Gen AI is the new kid on the block and we are already seeing investments and use cases. In October 2023, the Belgian city of Kortrijk, Flanders, launched its new ChatGPT-powered chatbot to support its citizens. The difference between traditional to Gen AI is that it writes its own (data-based) answers instead of choosing them from a predetermined list. Additionally, machine learning enables the chatbot to answer any citizen follow-up questions based on its previous answers. The city expects this approach to dramatically reduce the need for human intervention and increase efficiencies.

Efficiencies are often hindered by, you guessed it, inefficient processes. When asked about technology investments, process mining was top choice. Process mining is a great way to uncover existing inefficient and redundant processes. Solution providers such as Celonis are also infusing their tools with Gen AI to augment process mining and creating, for example, the ability to use natural language prompts to extract process mining insights. These capabilities should be used before processes are automated.

Digital Experience and Personalization

To deliver attractive personalized experiences, it is important to understand the customer journey across different touchpoints, a key focus area for most respondents. Another key area is obtaining insights into how customers use products and services, this could be through, e.g., customer feedback and data management solutions, leveraging contact center data, or through connected products, to name a few.

PAC’s CxO survey report also offers insight into the most used customer experience solutions providers, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, SAP, Adobe, Oracle, and customized, self-developed platforms. Interestingly, the latter is a very popular approach among Belgian businesses.

There are also challenges in this space. In addition to the aforementioned lack of data integration with back-office systems, top management support and organization commitment are lacking, hindering ROI. Value acceleration services comprising change management and training should be considered to accelerate adoption and any necessary company culture change.

For any IT software and services provider to better support Belgian customers, it is important to understand common, local, and specific challenges and have a better view of investment for the next couple of years.

If Belgium is not your cup of tea, PAC provides annual CxO survey reports and data for many other countries, regions, topics, and sectors. Should this be of interest, please get in touch.

0 thoughts on "PAC 2023 CxO Survey for Belgium – Trends and Challenges"

Leave a Reply

Share via ...