The act of structuring organizations for different purposes, perspectives and stakeholders in the form of conceptual modelling has a long tradition. Depending on the economic context, the type and focus, i.e. the what, why and how of these models has changed significantly over the past decades. From an initial focus on sound models capturing system structure and behaviour for experts, conceptual models have been used to comprehend, analyse and improve corporate performance, to capture and investigate the experiences of external stakeholders, in particular customers, and more recently to describe how to better deliver according to societal expectations. The requirements for conceptual modelling have been in particular accelerated due to new digital opportunities, but also increased digital literacy in the society. This article differentiates four essential stages in terms of requirements for conceptual modelling. The requirements of each stage remain relevant in today’s and tomorrow’s world and each stage still requires the attention of academic and professional model experts to ensure an ongoing ability to articulate what is needed.
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