Companies are in need of leaders who are truly digital and tech savvy; boards, CEO’s, and the C suite need to be ready to tackle the challenge of how to drive this compressed digital transformation in a shorter window of time. What should businesses do to be current in tech? The new contemporary digitally forward companies all develop, cultivate, and select partners and create an ecosystem approach. Many companies are now realizing perhaps their leadership team is not equipped with the skills needed to compete in a modern and rapidly shifting environment.
Here are topics to consider to future proof your company:
1. Companies must create new software architectures that are designed for future change and agility.
2. The old approach was to create a software architecture that was the “end state” architecture. Today’s environment is ever changing. There will not be an end state. There will be continuous change and innovation and the SW architecture must be designed with this in mind. For example, the future Web 3.0 is truly a radical departure from the current way we use the web.
3. We are now in a moment of questioning “trust” in the marketplace. For example, how would you feel about having a microphone in your house? Do you trust that your devices are not listening to you? Do you believe there is bias in algorithms? These are concepts boards need to ask management to proactively consider. Deliberately plan your philosophy around trust.
4. We are in the era of exploitation of consumer information. In both B2C and B2B businesses, our stakeholders: customers, investors, employees, all expect a D2C consumerization, easy, fluid interface to all our interactions. BOD’s may want to ask your management teams what more can you do to take steps / friction out.
5. Trust is the ultimate consumer currency, and we must think about how important this is into our products and services and our company’s culture. Consciously consider this as part of your BOD’s overall ESG approach.
Many areas of digital transformation focus on back-office supply chain optimization and on the front office digital workplace tools such as MicrosoftMSFT Teams, knowledge sharing capabilities such as Microsoft Power Platform, etc. Apply equal focus on digitally transforming both back and front office.
All companies are worried about employee engagement/retention. This is an opportunity to provide a great working experience with the best tools. BOD’s may want to ask management to address the future where all companies that produce products will need to be able to have full traceability and visibility of their supply chain for ESG reporting in the future.
One of the emerging ways to achieve this supply chain traceability/visibility at hyper scale is in Web 3.0 using blockchain which is considered as one of the best ways for traceability.
Conclusion: BOD’s that want to be relevant and impactful are embracing this 4th era of the industrial revolution and future proofing a new approach to corporate governance. In the 4th era of corporate governance the defining difference is to be actively focused on future proofing our companies. The biggest risk we can mitigate for our stakeholders is to anticipate this exponential velocity of change. Encourage your companies look to accelerate their agility to be competitive.
These ideas hopefully help as you break down the concept of digital transformation and tech enablement. Perhaps request management create a roadmap for a range of topics that can be broken into potential management actions. These concepts should be discussed by the board as a whole, potentially as part of a newly established Tech / ESG strategy committee.
One of the most effective ways to bring attention here is to create a dedicated Tech committee to work through these thematic subjects on a quarterly basis to help drive engagement, focus and prioritization of this critical tech-enabled transformation to keep your company in the top 10% performer category.