With Internet of Things you can make your organization smarter and improve the productivity of your employees. With robotics you can offer a better customer experience and guide customers around in your organization. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) you can make the dialogue with your customer smarter, which enables you to help them faster and more accurate with information that matters to them. Digital trends can make the world better.

Digital technologies can be used to improve the life of your customer or at least the service that you provide them. With a digital technology you add more value or get a better result. The implementation of digital technologies is not that easy. They create obstacles, problems, incidents and ethical issues. These challenges are caused by something that changes in your organization. To accommodate these changes, you will need new resources, engage in new partnerships, take on new activities or reassure customers. This does not mean that it is not worth the effort. Certainly not, but it is good to be aware. In short, a digital technology has impact. On your activities, resources, customers, partners, costs, products and services, revenues, channels and processes.

Not every organization is affected equally by this impact. Some struggle more than others. This difference is due to the ability of the organization to deal with a new digital technology and the associated change. The ability take action with respect to this change, and specifically a digital innovation, is called the digital capabilities of an organization. The capabilities focus on the skills of your organization, thus what your organization can do. In the Digital We research program we investigated which digital capabilities are important for digital trends. The research consisted of a literature review and our findings have been tested at, among others, Achmea, T-Mobile, Wehkamp, ​​VGZ, RWS, SNS, Flora Holland and several municipalities. The result is the following five digital capabilities:

Customer centricity indicates that the organization puts the customer first. The organization focuses on the ultimate customer experience.

Innovation signifies that an organization must be able to innovate. Innovation must be integrated in the strategy.

Digital people imply that an organization can attract the right people and is also able to retain them.

Transformation is the capacity of an organization to truly transform. Culture and leadership play a major role.

ICT excellence indicates that an organization can use digital technologies to transform, and also to achieve operational excellence.


In particular, ING Direct focused on strengthening their Innovation capability to better anticipate and leverage digital trends. ING Direct is strongly committed to creating the optimal customer experience. Experimenting and testing new solutions is essential to achieve this. However, the development and testing infrastructure of ING Direct was insufficient. Setting up a test environment took 3 months and 8 people. A faster 'time to market' of new services was a high priority. Together with a number of partners such as Cisco, NetApp and Microsoft, ING Direct came up with a solution: 'a Bank in a Box'. Thanks to 'a Bank in a Box' it became possible to copy of the banking environment with just one push of a button. This copy consists of all banking applications, services, configurations and 5.5 terabytes of data. It is a virtual simulation in which a new service or process can be tested. A process that used to take months was reduced to minutes.

For the practical implementation of these digital capabilities we investigated which skills are needed to develop a capability. As an example, personalized offerings and customer segmentation contribute to putting the customer at the center (customer centricity). For each capability, we compiled a list of five to six skills that your organization needs to have to strengthen the capability. The skills relevant for the Customer centricity capability, for example, can be seen in the image. We researched each skill and described what it is, how you can check if you are doing it well and we provide an example of an organization that has this particular skill mastered. To really help organizations, we developed growth maps that offer you tips on how to develop a certain skill. For example, it is necessary to collect customer data in order to perform customer segmentation properly. With these cards we ensure that organizations can get started quickly taking the right actions.