Authors: Hugh Grove, Maclyn Clouse
Journal Title: Corporate Board: Role, Duties & Composition
ISSN: 1810-8601 (Print); 2312-2722 (Online)
Publisher: Publishing house "Virtus Interpress"
Boards of Directors will have to play a key role in the technological survival and development of companies by asking corporate executives about their plans and strategies for these emerging technological changes and challenges. Key challenges and opportunities discussed in this paper, with corresponding corporate governance implications, included Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Industry 4.0, AI with the Internet of Things (IoT), Deep Learning, and Neural Networks. Survival should not be the goal, but it may be the necessary first step for today’s companies. Potential winners seizing these trillion dollar opportunities will be company executives and Boards of Directors who can incorporate these technological changes into specific new business models, strategies, and practices. While the awareness on boards regarding risks originating from disruptive innovation, cyber threats and privacy risks has been increasing, Boards of Directors must equally be able to challenge executives and identify opportunities and threats for their companies.
This shift for companies is not only about digital technology but also cultural. How can people be managed when digital, virtual ways of working are increasing? What do robotics and Big Data analysis mean for managing people? One way to accelerate the digital learning process has been advocated: the use of digital apprentices for boards. For example, Board Apprentice, a non-profit organization, has already placed digital apprentices on boards for a year-long period (which helps to educate both apprentices and boards) in five different countries. Additional plans and strategies are needed in this age of digitalization and lifelong learning. For example, cybersecurity risks are magnified by all these new technology trends, such as Big Data, AI, Industry 4.0, and IoT. Accordingly, the main findings of this paper are analysing the challenges and opportunities for corporate executives, Boards of Directors, and related corporate governance concerning the driving force of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence with Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence with the Internet of Things, Deep Learning, and Neural Networks.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors
Illustration Photo: Walmart associates and shareholders from around the globe come together in Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend the 2011 Walmart Shareholders' Meeting. (credits: Walmart / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))