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This article is by Featured Blogger David Chou from his Global Healthcare CIO column. Republished with the author’s permission.
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, the digital elements of society 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 for companies that will keep them up-to-date on digital advancements and their implications for business practices.
The Role of Digital in the Business World
We live in a society in which the digital world is just as important as the non-digital world. In order for businesses to be successful, they must have a digital presence. In addition, more and more organizations are working with software and online programs for their operations. In order for these organizations to collaborate with others, they must keep up with technological advances, particularly that apply to the business world. This helps businesses to stay competitive and to operate effectively and efficiently. It is likely that technology will continue to advance in the business world, which will increase access to international audiences, keep organizations more closely connected with customers, and change the way operations are managed within companies. 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 digital 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 that the organization achieves its goals and objectives and continues to grow as desired. Now that the business world operates more closely with technology and in digital spaces, the Board's role is even more important. The decisions made by the Board can be implemented more quickly, having rapid effects for the organization. Even small decisions made about the digital aspects of business can have far-reaching consequences. Without a strong Board that carried knowledge about the application of digital technology in business, whatever decisions are made for the organization may be ineffective, misguided, or even harmful for the company and its stakeholders.
The Call for Interdisciplinary Expertise on the Board
In order for your company's board to be successful, particularly in today's business world, it's essential that the members of the Board have diverse knowledge and experience to contribute. 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. By including Board members with diverse knowledge and experience, the Board can combine its knowledge to make the best decisions for the organization based on the needs of the company and the state of the industry. This combined knowledge gives the Board a strong foundation to deal with any challenge that arises and to make an effective decision for the company as it works toward achieving its goals and objectives.
The Benefits of a Digital Expert on the Board
Many Boards lack an expert in digital applications and technology. Instead, Board members utilize knowledge of marketing, finance, and business strategy to benefit the organization. While this was once an effective approach for business in the past, the implementation of technology as a major part of society has changed the needs of organizations in strategy and decision-making. Not only do decisions have an impact on the digital aspects of the organization, but there are decisions that must be made as to digital and technological applications that 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 but you will also have an edge over your competition that may not include a digital expert in strategy and decision-making.
As technology continues to advance and become integrated into society and business, it will become even more important 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, the Boards must stay up-to-date just as strategies and departmental leaders must. 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.