How CIOs can help board members understand the business value of digital innovation

How CIOs can help board members understand the business value of digital innovation

How CIOs can help board members understand the business value of digital innovation
You wake up in a panic after dreaming your CEO called and said, “You need to be at tomorrow’s 9:00 a.m. board meeting with a presentation to help the board understand the company’s digital strategy and, specifically, how we are measuring success.” While relieved when you realize this scenario was just a dream, you’re also aware that at some point in the near future that won’t be the case—and you’ll need to be prepared.

Today’s digital marketplace is changing the way companies compete, meaning information technology is now at the core of every company’s business strategy. As a board member, you and your colleagues are trying to understand how to identify and measure critical digital competencies, given your role is to assess overall direction and ensure the company executes on its business strategy and achieves its financial goals. As a CIO, you can help the board in these efforts by providing it with a digital maturity governance model and associated metrics for the four competencies that drive digital innovation success: Digital Awareness, Technology Relevance, Business-Focused-Teams, and an Enterprise Digital Culture (vision, leadership, and communication) (see Figure 1).

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Following is a description for each competency, a set of best-practice categories, real-world examples, an assessment tool to help you measure your company’s digital innovation maturity, and a transformation road map.

The framework, methodology, and assessments described in this article have been developed through my research and consulting work. I’d be happy to share these materials to help you succeed in your digital transformation. You can contact me at [email protected]

Succeeding at digital innovation requires your enterprise to excel in each of the following competencies:

Frameworks are great, but we all know you can’t manage what you can’t measure.Figure 2 is an assessment that measures enterprise maturity for each of the competencies against a set of best practices. You plot your assessment results on a maturity grid that reflects the business value improvement and digital footprint for each competency.

Digital innovation as a strategy is relatively new to the business landscape. Board members, executive management, directors, and business teams need to improve their understanding its business impact, the use of technology innovations, and building a knowledge base to create an enterprise digital awareness.

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Technology Innovations: ANZ hired four technology thought leaders to advise its board on external perspectives and provide specialist insights and trusted advice, helping the company properly consider digital opportunities and challenges.

Knowledge Base: Babson, UCLA, and the University of Cambridge have all developed knowledge bases to improve research on digital, preserve intellectual capital, and improve collaboration across industries.

Technology relevance ensures that the company leverages technology strategically to create customer value, improve margin, and enhance shareholder wealth. To accomplish this, companies need to leverage partnerships, out-of-the-box thinking, and benchmarking.

Partnerships: Johnson & Johnson forms strategic partnerships to advance research on diseases such as Alzheimer’s and neuropsychiatric disorders, and develop new consumer products.

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