11 Things you Should tell your CEO about Digital Development

Do you work for a company that is lagging behind in digital development? Here are 11 things you need to tell the CEO and the others in management.

A new study shows that many companies are lagging behind in digital development. “We see a worrying downward trend where global competition is tightening and digital maturity requirements are increasing. Above all, many companies have not yet embraced new digital opportunities, such as chatbots, AR and AI solutions. Rather, the companies seem to focus on what was considered to be at the forefront a few years ago.

This is not the first time we have heard that companies, of all sizes, are lagging behind in digital competence and innovation. In particular, senior management and the Board have previously reported that digital competence is low.

If you work in a company that does not keep up with digital development, we have a suggestion of 11 things that you should make sure your management is watching for:

1. It is not digitalization to buy a new tool

Many companies make the mistake of thinking that buying a new CRM system, or even a CEX system, is enough to get started with their digital development. But tools alone cannot solve that challenge; it is even more about changing their processes, educating and recruiting the right employees and transforming their organization.

2. Social media is where people are

In many management groups and boards, there are people who either do not use social media or only do so to a very limited extent. For their own part, this is ok, but unfortunately, they make the mistake of thinking that social media does not matter as much to most other people. That is not the case – all surveys show that we spend more and more time there.

3. Digitization has given customers power – finally

Many companies still seem to think that they can decide what the customer should know about or when something should happen. But the truth is that through search, social media and various communities, the customer has the total power to learn everything about a company and start their buying journey anywhere and anytime.

4. All industries can be disrupted

It doesn’t matter how distinctive the industry your business is in, it can still be transformed into the basics of digitalization. The reason is that digital transformation often ignores existing structures and processes – where it is expensive to change – and instead relies on, for example, the end customer’s experience (Netflix) or puts the industry logic on its head (financial sector).

5. There is no part of our lives that does not have a digital dimension

The time when we divided our existence into physical reality versus digital “surfing” is over – and thus it is no longer possible for companies to just live in a physical world. All your company has contacts – customers, partners, media, employees – are in a digital world and expect you to be there too. To solve their problems, to be able to easily communicate with them, to be able to easily develop solutions together.

6. The new media landscape has completely different rules

In many boards and management groups, it is still more important to see the company or its own name in the major newspapers’ debate and finance departments. But the influence one has through them is severely limited if it does not apply to politicians and media people.

7. Internet of things goes far beyond refrigerators that order milk

When we talk about the Internet of Things, we like to focus on one or a few things – refrigerators that buy food or the car that calls the workshop itself – but digital developments will mean much more significant changes than that. Major players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are developing AI-powered solutions that will take care of our entire existence through voice interaction and continuous learning – and no matter where we are or what we do. Where does your company fit into this development?

8. Culture and power structures threaten the survival of the company

Alongside the management’s lack of knowledge, narrow-minded cultures and groupings that at all costs must hold on to their position of power are the greatest threats to digital development – and thus ultimately to the entire company’s future. It is important that the leadership initiates various initiatives, but equally important that they create a culture that understands and embraces digital change and that they are willing to reorganize and break up outdated power structures.

9. The digital journey begins internally

Education and skills development are two cornerstones of digital change, but at least as important is to change the organization’s own use of digital solutions. Your company will never be able to deliver the innovative solutions your customers want if you do not test solutions yourself and constantly simplify and develop your own digital environments. In addition, it will be increasingly difficult to recruit and retain employees if the internal digital environment is lagging behind.

10. Changes require a mandate

The solution for many companies when they want to start a digital change is to recruit people with skills for this from the outside. It’s a great idea, but not if the reality awaits them is that they completely lack the mandate to start changing things. The same thing if the management, for example, appoints a Chief Digital Officer or similar – very good, but then it must be made absolutely clear that they are the one who controls the change.

11. Digitization requires new alliances and new recruits

Digitization creates new opportunities for collaboration -. and it is important to take care of them. Look at AirBnB which now also offers access to the workplace. Or Volvo who arranges deliveries to the tailgate. Staying in old structures and not seeing the new opportunities that open up can be devastating. Analyze what opportunities digitalization provides, and act on them. Do a quick pilot instead of spending months planning.


We monitors and writes about new technologies in areas such as technology, innovation, digitization, space, Earth, IT and AI.

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