Due to the rapid technological advancements in society, it is nearly impossible to operate a successful business without a digital presence. From software to internet marketing, digital elements are an integral part of business operations. This has led to larger numbers of technology experts in organizations, guiding operations and policy to navigate technology advancements. However, many Boards continue to operate without the benefit of an expert in digital business. Without this knowledge, it is difficult for organizations to keep up with competitors and make decisions that will keep their companies up-to-date on digital advancements.
The Role of Digital in the Business World
For businesses to be successful, they must have a digital presence. More and more organizations are working with software and online programs for their operations. If organizations want to collaborate with others, they must keep up with technological advances, particularly those that apply to the business world. This helps businesses to stay competitive while operating effectively and efficiently.
As technology evolves, the business world will most likely have increased access to international audiences, which will enable organizations to stay more closely connected with customers, and change the way operations are managed. In fact, it is already apparent that business models that do not incorporate strong digital strategies are at risk of being overtaken by organizations with more advanced expertise and application.
The Role of the Board in the Digital Business World
In any organization, the Board is an important component of business success. Through their guidance and decision-making, the Board can help ensure an organization achieves its goals and objectives and continues to grow as desired. As the business world has started to operate more closely with technology and in digital spaces, the Board’s role has become increasingly important. Decisions can be put into action — and make an impact — more quickly. Even small decisions about the digital aspects of business can have far-reaching consequences. In the absence of a strong Board that carries knowledge about the application of digital technology in business, decisions can be made that are ineffective, misguided, or even harmful for the company and its stakeholders.
The Call for Interdisciplinary Expertise on the Board
For a board to be successful, particularly in today’s business world, it’s essential that its members possess diverse knowledge and experience. It is no longer enough to have a board dedicated to the success of the company and achievement of its goals. Instead, the Board must understand the industry and all its various facets, including technology and digital applications, and must be able to leverage its collective experience to make the best decisions for the organization. This combined knowledge gives the Board a strong foundation to deal with any challenge that arises and to make the best possible decisions for the company as it works toward achieving its goals and objectives.
The Benefits of a Digital Expert on the Board
Typically, Boards have a deep knowledge of marketing, finance, and business strategy to benefit the organization. While this was once an effective approach, technology’s growing role in society has changed the landscape. Business decisions have an impact on the digital aspects of the organization, and decisions regarding digital and technological applications have a direct and lasting impact on the organization and its operations. Without the inclusion of a digital expert on the Board, these decisions may not be effective for the company. Conversely, when a digital expert is included on your Board, you will not only have the knowledge needed to make effective decisions; you will also have an edge over your competition when it comes to digital strategy and decision-making.
As technology continues to advance and become integrated into society and business, it will become critical for businesses to include digital and technological experts in every level of their organizations, from strong technological teams carrying out operations, all the way to digital experts as members of the Board. It’s just as important for board members to stay up-to-date on strategies as it is for departmental leaders. Without a strong foundation of digital guidance and decision-making from the Board, the organization will be unable to meet its objectives and goals. In addition, it will be difficult to maintain an edge over competitors that include strong digital strategy in their organizations.
This piece was originally posted by David Chou, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Children’s Mercy Hospital, on his blog page. To follow him on Twitter, click here.
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