Gartner published a survey of 273 people who are directors or board members of companies in the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, finding that nearly 60% of they rank digital technology initiatives as a top strategic business priority.
Boards of directors are also increasingly interested in changing the way their companies operate in order to adopt more digital initiatives. According to the survey, 64% of those polled said that their boards of directors have “tried to change the economic structure of their company for a more digital economic architecture”.
Gartner explained that this meant boards of directors were trying to accommodate digital investments by “changing their approaches to capital allocation and governance.”
According to Gartner, 40% of respondents said they have already shifted some budgets related to the digital business to business functions, as opposed to a more centralized technology or IT budget.
One in three people told Gartner that they have also changed the metrics used to gauge returns on digital investments.
“As boards focus more on the role of technology beyond IT, CIOs remain visible as a key partner in CA digital initiatives. A third (34%) of CAs say they have a formally constituted IT, digital or technology subcommittee, and the vast majority (94%) of them include the CIO or CTO as a member, ”Gartner added .
The survey found that 57% of directors have increased their risk appetite by 2022 or expect to do so, with most citing economic uncertainty, disruptive competitor models or cost inflation due to supply shortages as reasons.
Partha Iyengar, senior vice president of research at Gartner, said that during the pandemic, boards of directors realized they had to feel comfortable operating in a high-risk environment because they stood still ” was not an option “.
“This has prompted them to take the ‘try quick, fail quick’ approach, and in 2022, CAs will continue to take risks such as making technology investment decisions with incomplete information or making financial bets with no initial visibility. on a guaranteed return, ”Iyengar mentioned.
“After investing so much in digital in the past 12 to 18 months, companies are taking a break to validate their strategy and ensure their return on investment. For CAs, the focus is now on technological integration and the creation of a more sustainable and systemic digital economic architecture. , where technology is integrated across the enterprise and drives business results, ”added Iyengar.
There are also growing concerns about workforce issues, according to the survey, which found that more than half of those polled cited it as a top strategic priority.
Board members also cited the environment, social, governance, health and sustainability as top priorities. But less than half of those polled had some form of diversity, equity and inclusion on their meeting agendas for quarterly board meetings.
“The concerns of the workforce are closely linked to technological transformation. As companies accelerate their digital business initiatives, issues such as the IT skills shortage, the need to create a digitally agile workforce and culture transformation become even more critical, ”said Iyengar.