Board Survey

Article

More agile but more complex: the impact of digitalisation on boards and companies

swissVR Monitor – Bi-annual survey of Swiss board members

Digitalisation has climbed the ranks on board members’ agendas in Switzerland: Swiss organisations recognise opportunities to create new business and grow revenues. More than half of the board members surveyed of them state that they are spending a good deal of money on digital transformation, which though also has a negative impact on profitability. One third of the board members surveyed felt that progress was too slow; and four out of five of them said they lacked the relevant know-how. A majority of the surveyed Swiss organisations also believed that digitalisation elicited an elevated security risk. It also seems as though board members do not pay enough attention to the ethical questions of digitalisation.

swissVR Monitor II/2019 - Focus: Digitalisation

The key results

These results are largely in line with our experience in advising numerous organisations in their transformation projects. Boards and senior management need to show clear leadership and accountability throughout the transformation as well as have a clear change management strategy in place in order to keep costs at a reasonable level and to prevent such projects from cutting profitability. Also, boards must not shy away from possible ethical challenges - it is the right forum for asking such questions and providing clarity.

Reto Savoia, CEO Deloitte Switzerland

In general, the economic assessment that board members in Switzerland expressed paints a realistic picture. A majority of organisations state confidence as most of them assume that their business will perform better than their industry or the economy as a whole. However, such outright optimism is somewhat surprising: Businesses need to take global uncertainties seriously, for example the ongoing trade disputes, and should expect the Swiss franc to become stronger again.

Michael Grampp, Chief Economist, Deloitte Switzerland

This edition also also features interviews with:

  • Peter Delfosse, CEO and President of Axon Active Group, member of multiple Group Boards
  • Päivi Rekonen, Member of the Board of Directors of Konecranes, Alma Media, F-Secure and Efecte
  • Sunnie J. Groeneveld, Member of the Board of Directors of emineo, Hefti.Hess.Martignoni and the Galledia Group

About the survey

The swissVR Monitor is a survey conducted jointly by swissVR, Deloitte and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Every six months, this survey gauges the attitudes of members of Swiss company boards of directors towards the outlook for the country’s economy and their sector. It also gauges their attitudes towards current matters of relevance to boards. Each issue of swissVR Monitor also explores a focus topic in greater detail. The surveyed board members represent firms from SMEs to listed companies across a range of sectors. With 396 members surveyed in its latest edition, it is an accurate reflection of the attitudes of boards in Swiss companies.

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