Executive Briefings

Keep It Simple Because Your Company Directors Likely Don't Really Understand IT

Even as companies are relying more on technology to come up with innovative business models and fresh ideas for finding new revenue, many boards of directors don't understand enough about IT to keep up.

Few CIOs sit on boards and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, just 1 percent of directors have any technology background at all. Discussion of IT issues in meetings around the mahogany table can be measured in minutes.

There's a dangerous lack of confidence in the board's digital literacy, revealed in our exclusive survey of 250 IT leaders. Sixty-four percent say the board "doesn't do its homework" about technology matters and 57 percent say directors rely heavily on what they read in the press to evaluate IT strategy. Some 40 percent say board members "don't really care about IT."

The Board Institute, which educates and evaluates directors about corporate governance, finds that just 6 percent of companies have a board-level technology committee, where directors are assigned to focus on the strategic use of IT. Vastly more common are boards that confine IT to the audit committee, where the outlook is not proactive or innovative, but risk-averse: Protect against security threats, comply with regulations and manage the risks of big projects and technology spending.

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Keywords: supply chain management IT, value chain IT, IT knowledge in enterprise, role of CIO in enterprise

Few CIOs sit on boards and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, just 1 percent of directors have any technology background at all. Discussion of IT issues in meetings around the mahogany table can be measured in minutes.

There's a dangerous lack of confidence in the board's digital literacy, revealed in our exclusive survey of 250 IT leaders. Sixty-four percent say the board "doesn't do its homework" about technology matters and 57 percent say directors rely heavily on what they read in the press to evaluate IT strategy. Some 40 percent say board members "don't really care about IT."

The Board Institute, which educates and evaluates directors about corporate governance, finds that just 6 percent of companies have a board-level technology committee, where directors are assigned to focus on the strategic use of IT. Vastly more common are boards that confine IT to the audit committee, where the outlook is not proactive or innovative, but risk-averse: Protect against security threats, comply with regulations and manage the risks of big projects and technology spending.

Read Full Article


Keywords: supply chain management IT, value chain IT, IT knowledge in enterprise, role of CIO in enterprise