Real estate, a complex environment embracing digital opportunities
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During the ninth edition of the AMS DTLab (powered by XPLUS), Geert Van Mol presented his keynote on "Real estate, a complex environment embracing digital opportunities"
In this session, Geert shared his expertise on digital opportunities in the real estate sector and differences or similarities with the Finance sector. The sector is rather complex and traditionally organised with many stakeholders involved in the end-to-end delivery of a real estate project. Questions such as the following were tackled:
- What’s the customer experience?
- How is information shared and secured?
- How to have positive impact on the climate challenges?
- How is digital transformation and information technology employed in the real estate sector to create and exploit digital “click” opportunities in a world of “bricks”?
About the Speaker
Geert is a seasoned leader with extensive experience in digital transformation. As of 2023 he serves as co-CEO of Steenoven, a real estate developer from Roeselare active in both the residential and commercial segment. However, this real estate world just opened up to Geert’s eyes as he joined Steenoven in 2022. He says “the real estate sector is largely new to me, but at the same time it already feels very familiar. There are of course interfaces with the financial world. But above all, it's a complex environment and I really like that.”
Before this, Geert Van Mol served various leading roles at Belfius Bank & Insurance. As their Chief Digital Officer, he played a pivotal role in the bank's digital transformation and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies. Under his vision and guidance, the Belfius Bank app has become one of the best mobile banking apps in Europe and multiple innovations were successfully launched such as itsme, REBEL and Banx. Since, Geert has become a sought-after thought leader and industry expert in the field of digital innovation and in 2018, he was recognised with the first-ever award for Chief Digital Officer of the Year.
The Digital Transformation labs of Antwerp Management School are well known for their valuable interactive content and seasoned speakers.
House of HR is a leading European HR services group with 5.100 employees helping over 57.000 people to work at 30.000 clients. Impressive numbers which have grown at an aggressive pace over the last years, often in great leaps through acquisitions.
Moreover, House of HR evolves from matchmaker to career guide and will focus on long-term relationships. With the future of HR being digital, Wilbert Ingels elaborated on two major challenges:
- Building a digital operating model without losing humanity in HR
To act as long-term partner for their clients, trustworthy data becomes a critical resource to continuously deliver spot-on matchmaking. Therefore, House of HR becomes a data-driven company to digitalise and automate core processes, to analyse candidate profiles and to provide comprehensive and reliable advice to their clients. How? They put the team first, create focus and use all assets to accelerate on digital!
- How to capitalise on digital ambitions in a multi-company European structure
The company has grown via many acquisitions in rapid succession. This puts pressure on a centralised model to operate IT, on architectural and security challenges etc. As Group CIO, Wilbert installed a clear IT model with centralised responsibility on infrastructure and security, with application standardisation, all without killing entrepreneurship in business operations. New acquisition? No problem, they have a solid due diligence playbook!
"Does having an IT unit actually hold a company back in achieving its digital transformation ambitions?"
For the past fifty years, organisations have scaled up the use of technology and information systems with unprecedented speed. In this period, the IT department had to pivot multiple times its function and operating model to be in line with the business ambitions. Whereas keeping the lights and computers on was sufficient in the beginning, with a CIO as functional manager; the IT department evolved into a partnership model delivering projects that meet business requirements so the business can realize its strategic and operational objectives. Today, the IT department should operate in a networked model where digital capabilities become intertwined with business functions. The CIO becomes an orchestrator on digital knowledge and initiatives optimizing the opportunity from technology for the whole organisation, not just 'the' business. By doing so:
- IT shifts from function to fabric, which asks for a new organizing model to orchestrate people and digital knowledge. Yet, digital literacy remains the biggest challenge in today's companies.
- Knowledge and know-how become distributed across an organisation and its ecosystem partners, leading to the pervasiveness of technology throughout the organisation's network.
- Delivering value from technology is an intellectual challenge, so the design brief should emphasize on the optimization of value from technology (not to manage IT).