Technology has an undiminished major influence on how organisations are managed. The trend of ongoing digitalisation has an increasing impact on the primary processes within organisations. Increasingly, customers are looking for information on products or services through online channels. On the other hand, companies increasingly aim to reach their customers through online channels. The front-runner companies are working on digitising their entire business operations and primary processes, including entire factories (for instance using 3D printing).
From the survey, it becomes apparent that CEOs see big data as the development that will have the biggest impact on the organisation. In the future, big data is set to play a key role in organisations, but the risks must be carefully managed. This is also clear from the fact that respondents indicate they will invest most in the digital safety of the organisation. This coincides with the development that cybersecurity is increasingly discussed as a social theme in the boardrooms. The high expectations of the importance of crowd-funding are (once again) not materialising this year. Only 4% of respondents indicates that crowd-funding as a financing method has a major effect on the organisation, and only 5% of them considers investing in this area in the future. In the financial sector, this percentage is slightly higher at 12%, and 18% of respondents in the construction sector intends to work with crowd-sourcing in the next year.
Just how quickly things are moving in innovations and the introduction of new technology is clear from the investment trends in the respondent companies. This shows that both the large (over 1,000 employees) and the small organisations (1-50 employees) spend a relatively large percentage of their sales in R&D activities. Although the middle segment (51-1,000 employees) is the big driver of the Dutch economy, these companies are investing relatively less in R&D activities. These R&D investments also seem to benefit the smaller organisations most. Over one third of the respondents with fewer than 51 employees indicate that over 10% of sales is made with new products. In large organisations, this percentage is much lower. Larger organisations also invest a high percentage of their sales in R&D activities, but a relatively lower portion of their sales is based on new products.