The CEO of a large retail company recently brought a $500 million digital-transformation-investment plan to his board. The board reviewed the proposal, but after asking a number of questions, they were unable to evaluate it. Was it too costly? Was it aiming too low? Was it focused on the right priorities? One board member admitted he just didn’t know.

Similar scenes have been playing out in boardrooms around the world for years. “I hear lots of digital buzzwords, but I’m not sure how to deal with it,” as the chairman of a different board put it. “I know digital is important, but how do we capture the value?”

Even before the pandemic, 92 percent of companies surveyed by McKinsey believed their business models would have to change given rates of digitalization at the time. Covid-19 has only accelerated that timeline, with estimates indicating we’ve moved three to four years forward in digital adoption…

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