The board’s role in navigating digital transformations

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– The board’s role in overseeing a technological transformation within a company has to be real.
– The board can ensure it’s doing its job by being organized how they conduct that oversight, including well-defined metrics that are being reported upon.

Here’s an excerpt from this article by Deloitte’s Joe Kelly:

In my experience, many organizations struggle with how to measure success and ensure that the investments they are making are paying actual dividends. I have seen this devolve into “1,000 random acts of digital” in the words of one of my clients, when broad challenges go out to figure out how to use digital. Organizations that are successful will focus on a number of critical areas:

  • Structure:  Determine the need for a digital function, new organization structures and approach – centers of excellence, federated or unified models.
  • Ownership:  Define senior (C-suite) ownership; decide on the need for a  chief digital officer, and what skills are needed in that role (innovation, customer/market, technology, disruption/change agent); a major organization-wide effort may consider the need for a central management structure, similar to a Transformation Nerve Center (Deloitte concept) to oversee.
  • Funding:  Define a process for filtering and prioritizing projects/products and the mechanism for providing funding.
  • Measurement:  Create a well-defined process for measuring the effectiveness and benefits from efforts – many are using approaches similar to M&A synergy capture and results management programs.
  • Technology:  Define a process for making technology decisions to avoid multiple systems doing similar work to manage costs and complexity.

Board role:  Understand how progress and value will be tracked and reviewed on a regular basis.