Digitisation Stagnating as Only 5% of Board Members Have Digital Competencies, According to New Amrop Report
Global pressures of digital disruption are failing to make an impact on businesses as only 5 percent of board profiles on non-tech organisations have digital competencies. What’s more, despite the central role digital transformation plays in building a more competitive and efficient business, non-tech organisations have shown little effort to improve their digital capabilities in the last two years. This is according to a new landmark study from global executive search firm, Amrop.
The report: “Digitisation on Boards: Are Boards Ready for Digital Disruption?” examines how listed organisations are addressing digitisation. Worryingly, it revealed that the digital picture remains blurred, and multiple questions still surround its role.
Since the previous study in 2015, Amrop’s report found that the majority of non-tech listed organisations have shown little or no effort to improve digital competencies on their boards. The 5 percent figure remains quasi-unchanged since the study’s first edition - despite the fact that digitisation is affecting organisations across the globe.
The study, which examined profiles of over 3,000 board members in listed organisations across 14 countries, did find some places where digital board representations had improved. This included the UK, where non-tech companies raised their digital competencies from 3 to 8 percent since 2015. Finland leads the way in full growth-mode, tripling its representation between 2015 and 2016 from 4 to 12 percent. The Netherlands however has seen a decline in digital competency, with representation dropping from 7 percent in 2015, to 5 percent currently.
Moreover, the report found that traditional committees are still dominant. Just 9 of the 300 boards analysed have an official technology committee. That’s just 3 percent of organisations.
Making a change
Explaining the potential causes of this slow progress, Mikael Norr, Leader of Amrop’s Global Technology & Media Practice, states, “The core answer must lie in the difficulty of positioning the right talent in the top layer of organisations: people who can help fellow board members develop a clear strategy based on a strong business case and a clear view of the purpose of the organisation, its culture, its structure, and markets.
“Once this is done, change must be stimulated in the right place, at the right pace, with strong management of resources and risk. Engaging in education programmes for boards, before setting out, can help prepare the road.”
Amrop mapped and examined the digital competencies of 300 boards and 3,342 board member profiles. This was supplemented by in-depth interviews conducted during 2016 and 2017 with board members of mainly non-tech listed organisations.
Amrop is a trusted advisor in Executive Search, Board and Leadership Services. With over 70 offices in more than 50 countries, Amrop advises the world’s most dynamic organisations on finding and positioning Leaders For What’s Next: top talent, adept at working across borders in markets around the world.
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