Oh Oh, is 2017 the year when Digital Transformation gets a regular slot on the agenda of board meetings? If it is, what questions will stimulate that debate?

As a member of the Financial Times Non Executive Director Club I receive invitations from the club’s sponsor EY to events and receive notice of their publications.

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Their latest report (January 2017) poses questions for corporate leaders related to digital transformation. It asks:

How can current levels of business be maintained and additional business be generated against the background of digital transformation?

Is this possible within the current business structure?

Which changes (cultural, strategic, organizational, technological) are necessary to ensure the continued success of the business?

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 20.51.54I particularly liked the five questions it asked of boards. As I read the question, ‘Does your board have a designated digital expert who focuses on technology issues’, it set me wondering what the qualifications and experience are to define a person for the role of ‘digital expert’ at board level. A Google search quickly revealed this was not going to be easy. A blog by Peter Noblet of Hays set me off in the direction of asking him why he wrote ‘There is no such thing as a Digital Expert’.

That set me thinking: what would a board expect of a digital expert?

Interestingly a Gartner report in 2012 stated organizations will create the role of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) as part of the business unit leadership, which will become a new seat at the executive table and predicting that by 2015, 25% of organizations will have a CDO.  “The CDO will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the decade ahead, and IT leaders have the opportunity to be the leaders who will define it,” said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “The Chief Digital Officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished. They’re in charge of the digital business strategy. That’s a long way from running back office IT, and it’s full of opportunity.”

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Quote from Deloitte report ‘Courage under fire’


I like this common sense advice from Deloitte in their report –

Courage under fire: Embracing disruption that can be downloaded when you click here.




Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 22.14.51Perhaps the search for the answers in this blog will be revealed in this book that has been shortlisted for the CMI Management Book of the Year awards 2015/16 in the Management Futures category.

I’ll let you know in a future blog.

For my own personal insights in previous blogs click here and here.