The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

IoD Malta investigates the role of digital in the boardroom

Thursday, 28 November 2019, 11:04 Last update: about 7 months ago

The role of digital in the boardroom is the focus for the next Institute of Directors Malta 08:59 Club event being held at The George in St Julian's today, with the title Digital Directors for Digital Boards. The event will feature some of Malta's most experienced digital thinkers and practitioners who will cover a range of important issues relevant to directors, CEOs and Chairs.

Early digital transformation efforts in business were focused on initiatives such as e-commerce, sensors/internet of things, applications, client and customer experience and areas such as cybersecurity and data-management. Increasingly, Boards are beginning to realise that in order for these disparate initiatives to thrive, they need to undergo an end-to-end transformation, the success of which demands dramatic operational, structural and cultural shifts.


Many directors are feeling outmatched by the ferocity of changing technology, emerging risks and new competitors. Board members need better knowledge about the technology environment, its potential impact on different parts of the company and its value chain, and thus about how digital can undermine existing strategies and stimulate the need for new ones.

Directors also need faster, more effective ways to engage the organisation and operate as a governing body and, critically, new means of attracting digital talent. This last IoD 08:59 Club Business Breakfast of 2019 has a talented panel moderated by IoD Malta chairman Edwin Ward and brings together Silicon Valletta founder Simon Azzopardi, Elisa Krantz, Senior Partner at Baton&Baton as well as specialist marketer Chris Knights from BRND WGN, to find out how to tackle the digital challenge.

Azzopardi heads product development at Sherpa, an insurtech startup that has raised €5m in investment rounds to date and is making insurance personalised through a single unified insurance account that covers all risks. Sherpa is also changing the business model of insurance by removing middle men and commissions, making protection more accessible and a lot simpler. Simon is president of Silicon Valletta, an association that works to support the Malta-based startup ecosystem.

Krantz is the founder of Baton&Baton, a global boutique leadership consultancy. More recently, she also co-founded the Mindbeat Coaching Platform, a new to market digital coaching and mentoring platform. Ellie has 17 years' experience of working with leading FTSE100 companies across a range of industries and previously worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Merrill Lynch and YSC in London.

Knights is head of People at BRND WGN and is a founding member of Oulala Games Ltd, sits on the Board of Silicon Valletta and co-founded, an online hotel booking engine in 2003. Early in his career, Chris worked for Accenture in Sydney delivering large IT projects for fortune 500 companies and has worked for DERA in the UK, Telstra, Westpac and Philips Research.

Ward said: "While digital directors must be able to communicate how advances in subjects like artificial intelligence and big data will ultimately affect the entire enterprise, we counsel Malta's boards and the directors who sit on them to be wary of 'single issue' board members. The ability to contribute to all governance matters is a critical competency of any board appointment. We believe that today's event with Simon, Ellie and Chris will help break down the distinction between digital and non-digital directors."

To register send an email on [email protected] or call Julia Arrigo on 7990 6252.

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