Maximising the Benefits and Navigating the Challenges with a Strategic Approach
“Success with digital transformations, and transformations in general, has always been hard to come by.” 
As a board director with over 20 years of digital transformation experience, I have observed that many boards and directors still struggle with embracing digital transformation. Despite the clear benefits and opportunities presented by technology, there is often hesitation and fear surrounding the adoption of new digital solutions. However, I firmly believe that boards and directors should not shy away from the big issues of digital transformation and should instead embrace this change to stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.
Digital transformation is not just about technology, it’s about fundamentally changing the way an organisation operates and interacts with its stakeholders. This can be a daunting challenge for many boards and directors, particularly those who have not had direct experience with digital solutions. However, I believe that the benefits of digital transformation far outweigh the risks, and that with the right approach, any organisation can successfully navigate this transformation.
One of the biggest benefits of digital transformation is increased efficiency and productivity. Digital solutions can automate manual processes, reducing the time and resources required to complete tasks. This can result in improved accuracy and consistency, as well as freeing up staff to focus on more strategic initiatives. Additionally, digital solutions can provide greater transparency and accountability, making it easier for boards and directors to understand the health of the organisation and make informed decisions.
“Yet, amidst all this transformation, something novel — and perhaps fundamental — has changed: where and how companies create value has shifted. More and more, value creation comes from outside the firm not inside, and from external partners rather than internal employees.” 
Another benefit of digital transformation is creating new platforms and tools to develop and help partners grow, and improve customer experience.  Digital solutions can provide partners and customers with more convenient and accessible services, making it easier for them to engage with the organisation. This can result in increased partner and customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as greater brand recognition and reputation. Furthermore, digital solutions can provide organisations with valuable insights into behaviours of partners and customers, and their preferences, allowing organisations to better understand and respond to these needs.
Finally, digital transformation can also help organisations stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. By embracing new technologies and innovative solutions, organisations can stay ahead of their competitors and continue to meet the evolving needs of their partners and customers. This can result in increased market share and profitability, as well as greater opportunities for growth and expansion.
However, despite the many benefits of digital transformation, many boards and directors are still hesitant to embrace this change. Some may feel that they lack the technical expertise or experience required to make informed decisions about digital solutions. Others may be concerned about the risks associated with technology, such as data breaches or cyber-attacks.
To overcome these challenges, I believe that boards and directors should adopt a strategic and proactive approach to digital transformation. This starts with gaining a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by technology, as well as the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses.  It also requires a commitment to continuous learning and development, as well as a willingness to experiment and test new solutions.
In conclusion, boards and directors should not shy away from the big issues of digital transformation. Instead, they should embrace this change to stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. With the right approach and a commitment to continuous innovation and development, any organisation can successfully navigate this transformation and reap the many benefits of digital solutions.
Do you have any additional insights on why boards and directors shouldn’t shy away from digital transformation? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
- McKinsey & Company – “Three new mandates for capturing a digital transformation’s full value” (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/three-new-mandates-for-capturing-a-digital-transformations-full-value)
2. Harvard Business Review – ” Digital Transformation Changes How Companies Create Value” M. Van Alstyne and G. Parker (https://hbr.org/2021/12/digital-transformation-changes-how-companies-create-value)
3. Harvard Business Review – ” Digital Transformation Changes How Companies Create Value” M. Van Alstyne and G. Parker (https://hbr.org/2021/12/digital-transformation-changes-how-companies-create-value)
4. McKinsey & Company – “How boards can help digital transformations” (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/how-boards-can-help-digital-transformations)
About: Gary Morgan is an experienced board director, chief executive, consultant and corporate advisor with deep strategy, innovation and scaleup experience in the health tech, aged care, agtech, information security and research sectors. Gary is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a Member of the Griffith University Industry Advisory Board for the ICT School and has co-authored papers and reports that have been published in leading entrepreneurship and medical journals and presented at international conferences.