Digital disruption and transformation are reshaping the business landscape, making it more important than ever for companies to have a board of directors with the right skills. In this article, we will explore the benefits of digital transformation and what to look for when appointing a digital transformation director. Whether a company is a start-up or a well-established enterprise, understanding the impact of digital disruption and having a board with the right skills is crucial for success in today’s rapidly evolving business environment.
Digital disruption refers to the way in which digital technologies and the internet are fundamentally changing the way businesses operate and compete. This can include changes to the way products and services are designed, produced, marketed, and delivered, as well as the way that companies interact with customers and partners. Digital disruption can also lead to the emergence of new business models and the displacement of established companies by digital start-ups.
|According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of business leaders think their industry will be disrupted by Digital Transformation but less than half have a digital strategy in place.
Digital transformation refers to the process of using digital technologies to fundamentally change how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. This can include changes to business models, processes, and operations, as well as the development of new digital products and services. The goal of digital transformation is often to improve efficiency, increase revenue, and enhance the customer experience.
Why should Directors pay Attention?
Global spend on Digital Transformation will exceed $2.3T in 2023 yet 70% of Digital Transformation projects fail to achieve their goals. Directors should care about digital transformation because it can have a significant impact on a company’s competitiveness, efficiency, and overall performance. It is also important for companies to be aware of the digital transformations in their industry, as not adapting could lead to being left behind by competitors.
My advice: strategy should be business-led, not technology-led. Directors should create a corporate strategy and then identify how technology can enable the strategy. According to McKinsey, organisations should be aware of the commercial applications of key emerging technology such as cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence, automation, block chain, augmented reality, 5G connectivity etc.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation
Organisations that successfully adapt using digital transformation can enjoy many benefits such as:
The Risks of Standing Still
The risks of not digitally transforming can be significant for a company. Some of the potential risks include falling behind competitors, losing customers, inability to scale, making poor decisions, retaining inefficient processes and difficulty in attracting/retaining talented staff.
For example: Blockbuster was a once dominant movie rental chain from north America while +9,000 stores globally. They failed to embrace the latest technology and held onto an outdated pricing model which aggravated customers. This contributed to their downfall. Conversely, Netflix embraced cloud streaming rather than setting up a network of physical stores. Their pricing model allowed customers to pay a monthly subscription to access their entire catalogue. While Netflix embraced digital transformation and succeeded, it now faces significant competition from Amazon, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, Paramount+ and other online streaming services thus showing that digital transformation is on-going and not a single event in the organisation’s history.
Benefits of having Next-Generation Directors on Boards
41% of organisations say they lack the right digital skills and 30% say they do know which technologies to adopt. Directors with knowledge of digital transformation can help their organisation in several ways:
Nurturing the Next-Generation of Directors
To remain competitive, organisations must attract, promote and retain directors with the right skills and experience in a wide range of areas including corporate governance, financial management and digital transformation. Here are some ways to achieve this:
Hiring a Director with the Right Digital Skills
If your next digital transformation director is not internal, then consider hiring. Look for candidates with the following skills, experience and qualifications:
Digital transformation impacts countless industries. Organisations are responding by embracing new technology, adapting or reinventing their process and up skilling or hiring the right people. When successful, digital transformation can yield many benefits but also challenges.
Boards must possess the right skills to create a strategy that is enabled by technology, not led by it. Many boards have recruited a director of digital strategy to formulate the organisational strategy and help to achieve it via digital transformation. Digital transformation is not a single event, it is an on-going journey to remain relevant in your industry, and no one ever won the race by standing still.
He is a lecturer, trainer and speaker specializing in Digital Transformation. He has delivered training to audiences in North America, the Middle East and Europe including Google, HubSpot, Citibank, DocuSign, BT and many more. He holds a Masters in Strategic Management, Bachelors in Marketing management and qualifications in Digital Marketing, Cyber-psychology, Training & Education, Social Selling.
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