What 800 execs said they needed to undergo a digital transformation

The pandemic has led to calls for a digital overhaul of long-standing hospital practices, but there are still some outstanding factors causing hesitation, according to a July 9 Harvard Business Review report.

In a survey of nearly 800 board directors, three trends emerged as the biggest roadblocks to adapting to a digital-first world.

Three details:

  1. Getting the most out of digital tools.
    Before the pandemic, 5 percent of board meetings were virtual. Now, that number sits at 95 percent. Even when employees return to the office, more than half of boards will pursue a hybrid meeting model. Initial data shows that hybrid meetings can shorten meeting lengths by 30 percent while increasing attendance rates by 20 percent. More than half of virtual board meetings are through Google Meets, Zoom or WeChat. This demonstrates that there is room for digital tools that help with board-specific processes, such as voting or sharing secure documents..

  2. Digital transformation and cybersecurity are a package deal.
    To go digital, executives need to simultaneously implement cybersecurity measures. Even though taking operations digital may be lucrative, the continuous cyberattacks on hospitals may be deterring. The survey found 83 percent of board directors said cybersecurity was a top priority, but less than half of executives said their boards have a dedicated plan to improve cybersecurity. Additionally, many directors said their boards have not been inquiring about cybersecurity risk plans from their IT departments. The survey also found that more than half of board directors use personal email accounts rather than the encrypted email accounts provided by their company.

  3. Insufficient digital savviness.
    Many directors cited a lack of digital savviness as an added cause for hesitation. Not being trained in new digital tools can keep them in their comfort zone. Almost all survey respondents (94 percent) said they needed more training on new technology and best practices. About half of respondents (48 percent) said they would consider hiring independent experts to develop digital competency.

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