- According to the World Economic Forum, $100 trillion is going to be added to the world economy through digital transformation by 2025.
- A survey shows that shows 89 per cent of top companies' boards globally are banking on digital innovation
Digitization is still a top priority for boards this year as companies seek to enhance efficiency, grow sales and interact with the growing youthful tech-savvy consumers.
In an exclusive interview with the Star on Wednesday, the head of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) nominee directorship Centre, Marie-Laurence Guy said companies have no choice but to evolve with tech innovation.
"Firms need to seize opportunities for transformation amid disruptions to the business, offer new solutions that will yield a positive impact and drive the necessary change to build and protect value in the longer term," Marie said.
Her sentiments mirror that of Gartner in a recent, 2023 Board of Directors Survey that shows 89 per cent of top companies' boards globally are banking on digital innovation to become more resilient ahead of a global recession.
According to the survey, six-in-ten executives of large companies expect to increase spending on digital transformation in spite of economic headwinds.
According to the World Economic Forum, $100 trillion is going to be added to the world economy through digital transformation by 2025.
Moreover, by 2025, interactions driven by platforms are expected to enable roughly two-thirds of the $100 trillion value at stake from digitalization.
According to the 2023 CIO Africa Megatrends report, 68 per cent of companies surveyed in seven countries are planning to digitise their core functions, using new technology.
Cloud computing allows firms to rent remote data storage, business intelligence software that collects and process large amounts of unstructured data and collaboration tools topped the list of most adopted technologies.
The survey was conducted in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Apart from digitisation, the IFC top official who is in the country for a two-day workshop with the organisation's board representatives on various firms says, boards, anticipate an increase in sustainability initiatives investments.
"Properly understood, ESG is not a unitary principle but rather encapsulates a wide range of risks and opportunities that a corporation must balance, taking into account its specific circumstances, in seeking to achieve long-term, sustainable value,'' Marie said.
According to her, a holistic view of corporate purpose recognises that various stakeholder interests and relationships – including those relating to environmental sustainability, the safety and well-being of employees, co-dependencies with local communities, credibility with regulators, and creditworthiness with lenders and suppliers – are essential to maintaining a thriving, growing business.
Although board members are wary of the impending recession, Marie says that it is a short-term concern mostly to be handled by the executive teams.
According to her, the boards look at long-term goals and desire to maintain the firm culture.
Her views are shared by IFC country manager, Amena Arif who says the boards look at the overall microeconomic dynamics and how they are likely to impact companies' performance in the long run.
Other priorities to be championed by boards this year include:- transparency and talent search.