Every Industry is now digital, and every company must adapt for its digital future

Digital technologies and the data they generate are changing the ‘why of business’ and how they operate. Managers and companies who do not understand and adapt to this shift will lose out to those who do.

The new digital strategy and leadership short course at UCD Smurfit Executive Development speaks to senior business leaders who are dealing with the challenges presented by this digital transformation. Created in collaboration with Boston University, Questrom School of Business, the course offers participants the opportunity to evaluate their companies’ existing digital strategies and develop new ones to deal with the rapidly changing competitive environment in which they find themselves.

“We decided to partner with the Questrom School because one of their faculty members, Prof Venkat Venkatraman, is a world-leading expert on the convergence of strategy and technology,” says course academic director Prof. Patrick Gibbons. Prof. Christopher Sprague, Boston University will co-teach on this programme where his focus is on actioning the lessons learned by the ‘Digital Matrix’. Leading industry digital pioneer Prof. Martin Curley, recently appointed CIO, Health Service Executive and formerly SVP Mastercard Global Digital Practice Lead, will share a local/ international perspective.


Prof. Venkatraman has been cited as one of the most cited researchers in strategy and management by Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Thomson Financial/ISI and Google Scholar. His recent book, The Digital Matrix: New Rules for Business Transformation Through Technology (2017), was described by IBM president and chief executive Ginni Rometty as “an essential new model for digital business strategy in the age of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence – at once simple, pragmatic and quietly ground-breaking”.

According to Prof Venkatraman: “People think they saw the impact of technology in the past. We’ve been through the industrial revolution and other revolutions and we somehow figured it out. This time it’s at a scale and speed not seen in the past. It’s only 11 years since the invention of the smartphone and look at how business has been transformed as a result. We would have no Uber, no Google Maps, no Spotify without it.”

He believes the world is on the cusp of a revolution similar to that ushered in by the smartphone. “Now in 2018 we have a set of technologies at as nascent a stage as the smartphone was 10 years ago,” he says. “There is virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, cognitive computing, autonomous driving, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big-data analytics, for example. When you put all that together with sensors and biosensors the power of digital technology over the next decade will be unprecedented and the pace of change is accelerating.”

The UCD Smurfit Executive Development Digital Strategy & Leadership Programme takes place from September 19th to 21st. The course will address competition from new players with new business models; identify how their current source of advantage can be extended into the digital future; scale their current advantages with the deployment of digital tools; and develop a toolkit that facilitates deeper conversations among management teams about the competitive imperative that is digital business.

The initial three-day course will be followed up by a virtual programme where Boston University Questrom School of Business will engage with participants over four months as they begin to apply to the learnings from course diagnostics. A concluding session will take place in UCD Executive Development in February 2019.

To find out more about this Smurfit Executive Development Digital Strategy & Leadership short course in collaboration with Boston University,

Contact: Annabelle Kehoe

Tel: +353 1 7168080