The Essential Eight Technologies: What All Boards Should Know


Not long ago, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and blockchain were largely futuristic concerns, particularly for board members. Now, these and other emerging technologies are responsible for the wave of disruption that’s rippling across every industry and company around the world.

In this episode, Barbara Berlin, a director at PwC’s Governance Insights Center, joins host TK Kerstetter to discuss the impact of what PwC calls the “Essential Eight Technologies” and how boards should be responding.

“Every industry is being impacted by these digital changes,” said Berlin. “What we’re seeing are industry lines blurring between companies—whether it’s the financial firms that have become technology firms or the big-box retailers that are engaged with shipping and internet sales.”

In creating the Essential Eight Technologies series, Berlin explains that PwC evaluated 150 new technologies and boiled them down to eight, which they believe will have the greatest global impact across industries. The series is designed to give board members a frame of reference to start having more meaningful conversations with management about the technological changes that are taking place.

In this episode, Berlin outlines the “essential eight” and gives several examples of how these technologies are already being implemented across companies today.

  • What are the biggest technology disruptors that boards should have on their radar?
  • In which technologies are companies making the largest investment?
  • How are these technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, Internet of Things) currently being implemented across industries?
  • How do boards ensure they have the digital expertise necessary to oversee the transformational changes taking hold?

(PwC refers to the US member firm or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.)

The original episode can be accessed here.