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Business & Finance Series: Expert Comment

Success in the age of digital transformation

Professor Gianvito Lanzolla, Professor of Strategic Leadership, discusses the impact of digital technologies on corporate governance during a masterclass in Dubai

by Nahda Abdalla (Senior Communications Officer (Dubai))

Thanks to the advent of new digital technologies such as Cloud computing, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, companies are now realising the significance of integrating digital in everything that they do, from value creation to value delivery.

But are established companies, and family firms in particular, able to succeed in the digital age?

According to Professor Gianvito Lanzolla, Professor of Strategic Leadership, governance is one of the key factors that determines the success of a company’s digital change and studies suggest that existing corporate governance systems are ill-equipped to cope with the challenges that may arise during the journey of transformation.

Digital transformation

Speaking on the topic of Leading the Digital Transformation during a recent masterclass at the Dubai Centre, Professor Lanzolla explains:

“Digital transformation does not only bring opportunities, but also a whole set of new challenges to organisations.

“While governance often builds on the idea that stability is good, the new reality is that in order to successfully lead digital transformation and to increase the life expectancy of your company, it’s important that management takes market risks.

Boards must fully embrace the need to experiment and encourage a new balance between stability and experimentation. Doing the right thing for too long is not good enough in the era of digital transformation.

“Governing the transformation journey is particularly challenging for family firms where tradition plays an important role in shaping strategies. If family firms do not adapt their governance systems to the new realities of digital, the risk is to be pushed in smaller market segments. On the other hand, for companies that accept the new digital reality, the return will be tremendous - over the next few years, trillions of dollars in profit could be unleashed through digital transformation.”

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