IT for Leaders

Booster Program: Demystifying Digital

What business leaders should know and do about digital

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Without doubt, information and communication technology (ICT) is one of the biggest disruptive force confronting most organizations and their leadership teams today. And it is not just large organizations but organizations of all sizes, including the public sector, that are being impacted by the inexorable advances in technology. Most businesses today are – or, at least, are becoming – digital businesses. No industry, it seems, is immune to the realities where business models, business processes, value proposition, customer experiences,
products, services, and management practices have been – or are being – transformed by the internet and other digital technologies.

CEOs and their CxO colleagues play a pivotal role in determining whether or not their organizations exploit the innovative opportunities provided by digital. In particular, realizing value from digital investments requires the leadership team’s attention and oversight. The  leadership team sets the tone for digital, and their active participation determines whether their organization optimizes a return from spending on technology. Most do not seem to understand this, or quite know what they should do. The objective of this one-day booster is to provide guidance for you to successfully navigate the digital landscape.

Of course, business executives often feelvery exposed when having any conversations to do with digital, as they do not consider themselves to be technically literate. They can certainly be forgiven for being over- whelmed with the never-ending stream of new technologies and buzzwords that emanate from the IT industry: cloud, apps, big data, analytics, mobility, consumerization, BYOD, social media, artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things... The easiest response, and perhaps what might seem most logical, is to delegate – or more often, abdicate – responsibility for anything IT to the chief information officer (CIO) or IT director or hire a chief digital officer (CDO). This is a big mistake: digital decisions are fundamentally business decisions.


Target audience

Executives who want to profit from the value creation of their IT investments.


Key benefits

  • change your perspective and ‘frame of reference’ regarding IT
  • do things differently in the organization
  • recognize and accept your accountability for creating and sustaining value from IT investments and driving that accountability down through the organizations


Key topics

  • Building a strategy for digital
  • Unlocking value from digital investments
  • Managing the digital investment portfolio
  • Innovating with digital technologies
  • Leading the digital enterprise



Meet the teaching staff

Joe Peppard (Program Director)

Professor, ESMT Berlin

Joe is Director of the School’s IT Leadership Program. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia. Over the years he has held academic appointments at Loughborough University, Trinity College Dublin, Groningen University, and the University of Sydney.

The focus of Joe’s research and teaching is in the area of information systems and technology. His research falls under five broad themes:

  • Leadership: driving the organisation forward in the use and exploitation of IT, including the leadership role of the CIO
  • Strategy: thinking strategically about information, systems and technology
  • Innovation: marrying emerging technology capability with business opportunities
  • Organisation: structuring and sourcing IT infrastructure, services, human capital and processes and the enterprise governance of IT
  • Value: generating value from IT investments.


Professor Peppard's consulting is focused on advising organisations on IT and strategy related matters and how to unlock business value from their IT investments. He also works with a number of technology companies helping them with their strategy, market positioning and growth.

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