Is your board ready for Digital?

The Institute of Directors reports that 30-35% of boards consider they don’t have the right capability to lead their digital future.

Is yours one of them?

In an increasingly digital world, being a business that is not only positioned to embrace the opportunities of digital, but to discover them before others do, is critical. The answer to being a business that leads the way doesn’t lie, however, in simply appointing digital leadership. Whilst this is a valuable move, it doesn’t fully bridge the knowledge gap between monetising traditional assets and successfully navigating the challenges and opportunities digital business models can create.

Understanding the impact of technology 

Achieving this comes down to having a board that is willing to develop an understanding of:

  • how technology can impact an organisation and its value chain
  • the way it can stimulate long term business model changes, with high short term costs
  • how it can help redesign ways of working and attract new talent
  • how it can open up your organisation to new customers that you’ve perhaps never considered before for your business.

This doesn’t mean that your board needs to be digital experts themselves. It does, however, mean they need to consider special sub committees or advisors to ensure that digital is being considered in discussions around strategy and risk management, and to ensure that innovation investments can be effectively governed.

Technology governance encompasses the board’s strategic and risk oversight role in a wide sense, covering everything from IT systems, web, cybersecurity, mobile and increasingly prevalent technology such as robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality that your organisation could potentially have on your radar.

 A digital-first approach

 Digital isn’t a passing trend. To survive in not only today’s market, but also thrive in tomorrow’s, it’s critical that digital strategy is embedded across three growth horizons in your business – operational (short term), strategic (mid term), and radical innovative strategies (long term) which requires an understanding of how digital can change business models.

Therefore the ability to navigate in a digital-first world boards need to be challenging the CEO and leadership teams to respond to new business models that remove cost and create new revenue opportunities, and to explore the stock of digital assets. Boards should recognise CEOs will not have all of the answers, and encourage the guidance of digital advice, ensuring they are equipped with the relevant data, knowledge and networks to lead effectively.

Are you prepared?

Directors have a fiduciary responsibility to look after an organisation’s assets – both tangible and intangible. Today, data and technology are becoming major business assets and are the key drivers of company growth and profitability. If you took a look at your own organisation, does your board truly understand its digital assets, and can govern these accordingly? If not, is it time to seek out advice and guidance to ensure your business is best positioned for the future?

 As an Executive, Investor and Independent Director myself, I bring a unique and independent lens to business growth. If you’re a CEO, I’ll partner with you to validate and activate transformational business growth by monetising technology and empowering people. I also partner with boards, working alongside you to ensure governance effectively navigates and adapts to a digital-first business transformation, maintaining reputation and mitigating liability.

I would be delighted to help you with your digital growth, get in touch at lauren@laurensalisbury.digital to start taking action, not just promoting a vision.

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