Digitization must be a top priority. But most business leaders can't be up-to-date on tech trends all the time, especially if they come from industries that weren't born digital. This is where digital advisory boards come in.
The Corona pandemic has further accelerated the digitalization trend. Global IT spending is set to grow 3% from last year, according to Gartner, unaffected by inflation. Digitization has thus become an important part of the business world with an upward trend. As many as 54% of senior leadership respondents (Salesforce survey) feel they are up to speed on digital trends. Unfortunately, however, less than half of managers and individual employees share this view.
Digital Leaders at the Directors’ Table
It is therefore possible that many executives are lulling themselves into a false sense of security. To stay ahead of the curve, a large proportion of companies will have to integrate digital strategies and techniques firmly into their business processes. To do this, it is far from enough to have an IT department that deals with bugs, backups and updates. Rather, a digital strategy must be deployed and implemented by the business leaders themselves. Since they lack the skills and time to recognize and pick up on digital trends and apply them to their own business model, digital experts need to be at the table with the company board.
The best way to do this is to introduce a digital adivsory board. This can consist entirely of internal digital executives, but can also have external members. Consultants who have worked on digital transformation projects, for example, are suitable external members of the digital advisory board.
What Does a Digital Advisory Board Do?
The exact tasks of the digital advisory board vary depending on the industry and company. Essentially, however, its responsibilities relate to the development and implementation of a digital strategy in line with corporate objectives. This typically includes a digital product strategy, the definition of a digital roadmap, the assessment of market trends and the launch of an innovation incubator. The digital measures can relate both to the company's offering – for example, to develop new target groups and enter new markets – and to internal processes – for example, to increase the degree of automation and reduce costs.
The digital advisory board supports the digital strategy, i.e., it ensures that it is implemented according to plan and that the defined key figures are achieved. Last but not least, the digital board ensures that digital competencies are built up in the company over the long term. For this to work, it is strongly recommended that one or more digital leaders sit on the wider corporate directors board.
The Right Time to Set up a Digital Advisory Board
Investing in a digital advisory board makes sense, especially in times of economic downturn. Many companies tend to hold back such investments, supposedly to gain economic security. But this is precisely why a digital advisory board can provide a decisive advantage over competitors. Because in times of upheaval, innovations can be advanced, internal processes can be made more efficient, and new customers can be won with a digital offering.
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