The impact of technology on​ Strategy & Business Models

This blogpost is shared as part of a series of insights from INSEAD Directors Network, based on roundtable discussions held during INSEAD Directors Forum October 2018. The Directors Forum Round Table Discussions were held with IDN members led by IDN board members or IDN Ambassadors. Other blog posts shared. 


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How to breathe with the marketplace to stay stable or grow, how to stay consistent and be able to incorporate a change that enables the company to stay healthy.

I was happy to lead a discussion for INSEAD International Directors Forum 2018 in Fontainebleau: “Understanding and managing how technology impacts strategy and business models”    Does it require a closer board oversight?

For the past 20 years, companies have spent a good % of budgets and CAPEX in the process of  1) “Digitization,” converting data to digital and implementing the ability to manage data.  Also, 2) Launching and applying business models that exploit digitization, setting up digital platforms to capture consumer data, technology platforms to reach consumers and aligning offerings to that of consumers need.

As we reach now  Digital Transformation, the restructuring of economies and institutions along with society – the need to understand its impact to our industry’s business model, to our companies structures, their strategies are ever so crucial not only for executives but for its boards.   As board members, our direction on  “How to breathe with the marketplace to stay stable or grow, how to stay consistent and be able to incorporate a change that enables the company to stay healthy.”

With representation of Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Energy, HR Services, Transportation, Mining, and some family boards,  We reflected and discussed as a team on what are the concerns of our boards today and what areas are critical to understand  what it means—impact wise – disruption wise—to harness that power of digitalization and help our companies navigate and extend or renew their relevancy in the market.

Some concerns raised included AI in consumer data and technology platforms – optimizing consumer knowledge in real time to product portfolio, and consumer offerings and how or companies are dealing with Operational Risk (Physical and Cyberinfrastructure interdependencies not only of owned sites but with clients and partners), Labor and Regulations (where complex task automation in manufacturing, transportation and logistics impact our workforce.) Lastly, Innovation (Promoting and protecting the creation of new products and offerings.

We concluded that for our boards today to be effective and efficient,  we need to

  • Review Strategy more – build a committee if not existent.
    Communicate more with stakeholders, internal and external.
  • Expand perspectives on the impact of technology on our industries and regulators.
  • Listen to a more significant sample in our companies employees to N-2
    Encourage a culture of change and innovation – call for  “Failure Presentations.”
  • Bring diversity to the board – expand the perspective to match the markets served.
  • Expand the need to understand the impact of technology not only of our companies but of our companies clients, our companies partners.

Remember that to what we transform to – might not exist yet:  Our boards need to be diverse to help us navigate with the impact of technology on strategy and business models.  The actions we can help develop today should bring humanity to the business of the future.

_4820454214  Mary Francia is a Management Consultant in Strategy, Technology & Operational Risk.  She is a Certified Director from INSEAD International Directors Programme and Board Member of its IDN Alumni Club.



Other blogpost in this series: 

Governance in a Disruptive World by IDN Board Member Liselotte Engstam

From Board oversight of Strategy, to creating a Sustainable Business, by Helen Pitcher OBE, IDP-C, Vice President IDN

Anticipate and manage for geopolitical trade, corporate governance codes and regulatory changes by Cleopatra Kitty, IDN Cyprus Ambassador 

The impact of technology on​ Strategy & Business Models by Mary Francia, IDN Board Member

Align Risk Management with Strategy and Operating Performance, Reward and Remuneration by Susana Gomez- Smith, IDN Portugal Ambassador

Accelerate Board Effectiveness by IDN Board Member Thomas Seale


More insight from INSEAD Directors Network, will be shared based on INSEAD Directors Forum 2018, Round Table Discussions – Look out for more upcoming blogposts!

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