Eighty-nine percent of board directors say that digital business is now embedded in all business growth strategies, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc. However, just 35% of board directors report that they have achieved or are on track to achieving digital transformation goals.
“Boards of directors (BoDs) have reached a point where digital business strategy and overall business strategy are one and the same,” said Jorge Lopez, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “While CIOs have made significant progress leveraging technology for operational excellence, this is not enough to realize the strategic business benefits that BoDs are looking for from digital investments.
“As enterprises increasingly operate in a world of constant disruption, the most future-savvy boards are considering how upheavals and risks can serve as a source of opportunity. CEOs and CIOs will need to adopt this mindset as technology plays an ever-expanding role in driving business success.”
Gartner analysts presented the survey findings during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2022, taking place here through Thursday. The 2023 Gartner Board of Directors Survey was conducted via an online survey from June through July 2022 among 281 respondents in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia/Pacific, who are in a board of director role or a member of the corporate board of directors.
CEOs Seen as Responsible for Driving Digital Business
BoDs cited CEOs as the primary leader responsible for driving digital business initiatives within the enterprise, selected by 28% of survey respondents. This is ahead of the CTO and CIO, cited as the primary digital leader by 19% and 14% of board directors, respectively.
“Historically, boards have looked to IT to lead digital business,” said Partha Iyengar, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “Yet given the macro and strategic benefits boards are now expecting from digital business, they now rightly expect to hold the CEO directly accountable for its success, similar to the accountability that CEOs have for enterprise revenue or growth.”
Boards Look to ‘Breakthrough’ Technologies for Innovation
Boards are looking to invest in ‘breakthrough’ technologies that will drive digital business and enterprise success. Forty percent of board directors consider artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to be imperative to digital business success in their organization, the most-cited response (see Figure 1).