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Working Paper: Research Summary

Assessing the Impact of a Digitally Savvy Board on Company Performance

One of the most important issues boards of directors face today is the role of digital technology as an opportunity and a threat to future success.
RESEARCH SUMMARY

A summary of a research project with preliminary findings

Abstract

One of the most important issues company boards of directors face today is the role of digital technology as both an opportunity and a threat to the future success of the company. The board best equipped to meet these challenges has digital savvy, which we define as an understanding, tested by experience, of how digital technologies such as social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and the Internet of Things will impact how companies will succeed in the next decade. In research done over the last five years, we found that only 24 percent of the boards of companies that were listed in the United States with over $1 billion in revenues were digitally savvy, and that companies with savvy boards outperformed the others in our research on key metrics including ROA, revenue growth, and market cap growth. In this paper we share results from the research, experiences from board directors we interviewed, and insights on how to increase the digital savviness of boards.

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About the Authors

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Peter Weill, Chairman and Senior Research Scientist, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

E94-1549
(617) 253-2930
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Stephanie L. Woerner, Research Scientist, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

E94-1557
(617) 452-3222
Profile picture for user jennifer.banner@truist.com

Jennifer Banner, CEO, Schaad Companies; Lead Director, BB&T Corporation

MIT SLOAN CENTER FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 

Founded in 1974 and grounded in the MIT tradition of rigorous field-based research, MIT CISR helps executives meet the challenge of leading dynamic, global, and information-intensive organizations. Through research, teaching, and events, the center stimulates interaction among scholars, students, and practitioners. More than ninety firms sponsor our work and participate in our consortium. 

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