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New Insead Study Challenges The Concept Of “Digital”

FLI Insead

INSEAD, the business school for the world, Fontainebleau, France.

INSEAD, the Fontainebleau based business school and the business and marketing consultancy “This Fluid World”, jointly announced the release of a new study, ‘The Real Impact of Digital – As Seen from the “Virtual Coalface”’. The study challenges some of the commonly-held views on ‘digital’ and approaches the topic and its challenges from a fresh perspective informed by a global survey of business leaders and their board members.

Led by Ludo Van der Heyden, INSEAD Chaired Professor of Corporate Governance and Academic Director of INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative, and Liri Andersson, founder of this fluid world, the quantitative and qualitative research was carried out amongst 1,160 managers, executives and board members across regions representing a wide range of organisations, industries, and functions.

The study provides interesting insights into how digital is perceived by people who are grappling with it on a day-to-day basis, how it is being put to use, and how companies expect to engage with digital in the future. As digitalisation intensifies, it’s a matter of time before companies rethink how to remain competitive and sustainable in the digital world.

“Digital is changing business, organisations and the ways to compete. Speculations about the exact impact of the digital revolution are far and wide-ranging and companies often struggle to find the ‘right solution’. This study confirms that there currently is neither a one-size-fits-all approach nor a single ‘best practice’. Organisations are busy customising digital to suit their business needs and to build distinctive paths for competitive success.” said Professor Ludo Van der Heyden.

“Digital can’t and shouldn’t be delegated to a person, or a specific department. Digital is business, and business is digital hence it has to be the responsibility of everyone in an organisation – no exceptions made! This is how companies will achieve the necessary transformation to be digitally enabled!” said Liri Anderson, founder of this fluid world.

Some key insights and recommendations:

  • “Digital” does not have a universal meaning
  • Digital success is primarily about people, management and culture, not technology
  • Engage the entire board in digital
  • Be wary of experts and gurus eager to present “their” solution or mantra
  • Don’t feel the need to create an over-riding digital strategy – you may not need one
  • Business has embraced digital, in multiple ways, but it appears too early to measure the success of digital initiatives

Some survey results:

  • Only 14% of respondents indicated that their company is engaged in “business model transformation” or “digital transformation”
  • Only 1% of Board members stated “digital transformation” as their organisation’s main digital undertaking
  • Only 12% of respondents cited “having the right technology in place” as a critical success factor for digital initiatives
  • 43% of companies are not developing the required managerial capabilities to support the transition to digital
  • 30% of organisations surveyed have no digital strategy

Executives and their Boards of Directors, strategy / IT / organisational experts and consultants looking to gain more awareness of the topic and key decision-makers involved in digital strategic initiatives will benefit from key findings in the study.

The full study is available for download here.

About INSEAD: As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD offers participants a truly global educational experience. With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents. Our 148 renowned faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,300 students in our degree and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 9,500 executives participate in INSEAD’s executive education programmes each year. In 2016, all three of INSEAD’s MBA programmes are ranked #1 by the Financial Times in their categories: MBASingle School Executive MBA, and the Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA.

Source: INSEAD

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