In the media

Top managers falter in the face of new digital trends

By Knut Erlend Vik


28 July 2014

PA business transformation expert Knut Erlend Vik has written an article in Finansavisen stating that businesses able to understand the digital agenda, and manage their own development, will be tomorrow's winners.

With the world becoming increasingly automated and integrated, are business leaders are prepared for the digital future?

The article highlights that results from PA's global digital barometer indicate they are not:

  • only 25 per cent of corporate executives and senior IT and technology executives believe their company is prepared for the new digital world
  • merely 24 per cent think their management team understands the digital challenge
  • just 30 per cent understand how new technology will affect their organisation
  • there is a big difference between companies that are ‘born digital’ – where it is in their DNA to use technology to create new customer experiences. Therefore, companies must transform a traditional business to fit into a digital world.

Knut Erlend writes that the days when marketing directors had to adhere to centralised brand management are over. This is because the influence of what people say on social media is huge – while what companies say about themselves through marketing campaigns make little difference.

He adds: “IT executives must master innovation and experimentation, while providing robust infrastructure and operations, and operations directors need to deal with new supply chains such as the digitisation of content to build customised solutions in real time. Finance directors meanwhile, must deal with a more complex world driven by innovation and creativity – where nearly all investments will deliver the required return.”

The piece also covers how it is no longer enough for a CEO to have a clear vision and let the marketing director, COO and CIO drive implementation. Executive directors must be supported by a clear direction from the board, but a Korn Ferry report from 2012 indicates that only 1.7 per cent of directors in the 100 biggest companies on the London Stock Exchange were concerned about the digital agenda.

Knut Erlend concludes: “It is obvious that the world is changing and that successful businesses will be those that take control and are able to manage their own development. They will understand the size of the challenge that lies ahead of them and respond by adapting what they do and how they do it.”

Explore more

Contact the team

We look forward to hearing from you.

Get actionable insight straight to your inbox via our monthly newsletter.