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Governance in the digital age – is your board ready?

Upgrading your organisation’s digital infrastructure was once a way to stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s a necessity in order to avoid missing out on the forecasted US $1.16 trillion increase in the Asia-Pacific region’s GDP by 2021 that widespread digital transformation will contribute (according to Microsoft & IDC Asia Pacific research).

Digital business transformation will add US $1.16 trillion to the Asia Pacific region’s GDP by 2021.

But to begin your business’ digital transformation, you need the full involvement of your directors. Change should come from the top – and with the right skill sets, you can confidently reap the benefits of the digital economy. How can the board help with digital transformation?

What do boards need to lead digital transformation?

In order to get the journey towards total digital transformation underway, businesses need to ask these five questions:

  1. What are the trends, technological or otherwise, affecting our customers and markets?
  2. How can our current business model embrace disruption?
  3. Similarly, how robust is our company’s infrastructure, supplier system and customer base?
  4. What is our response strategy?
  5. What technology and new skill sets do we need to make this response happen?
Embracing digital disruption requires major thought about your business' structures and skills.

Once those questions have answers, your board can begin to map a digital strategy for the future.

An MIT Sloan School of Management survey found future-ready companies performed much better than their industry peers. Leading this change requires you to dissect your board members’ strengths and experiences. The ideal board of the future Australian business is comprised of members with a diverse range of skills, and has digital literacy high on the list of priorities. Your board should also have:

  • Digital expertise. No matter your industry, include board members with past experience in the digital sphere.
  • Diversity in age, race and gender. As well as providing different viewpoints on business strategy, a mix of opinions can also bring innovative ideas on how to use technology to digitally transform your operations and satisfy your customer’s needs.
  • Access to outside information. Gathering reports and data on current digital transformation in your sector means you can keep abreast of what is working for your competitors.

Restructuring your governance arrangements

Recruiting the right board members who can take your business forward in the long term requires long and hard thought about how the board is structured and the strategies used to make decisions in all areas of your business, not just the parts affected by digital transformation. Unsurprisingly, this can be a tough area of decision making.

What changes do you need from your board to become ready for digital transformation?

To ensure your board’s organisational structure is robust enough to face the changes to come, you need the right advice. At PFS Consulting, we are focused on helping our clients build, maintain and improve their governance structures. This includes assistance with:

  • Developing optimal governance frameworks.
  • Improving governance documentation.
  • Arranging board performance evaluations
  • Setting your board up for future high performance.

Getting your board ready to embrace digital transformation requires you first to think about whether its governance strategy is set up for success.

Need advice on enhancing your governance in the digital age?

PFS Consulting offers a range of Governance consulting services to help your business reach its full potential, including advice on organisational structures, documentation, and facilitating strategic workshops. For more information on our governance services, please contact your PFS consultant.