Why does IT struggle to hold the board’s focus?

2.7k views1 Upvote9 Comments

Advisor | Investor | Former CIO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
If you look at IT as a percentage of revenue, it's not where they're spending their time. If it's 5% of the overall revenue, it doesn't equate to something that's super important in the grand scheme of things. But I think the problem is the label IT, because IT has a completely different meaning in certain verticals than it does in others. So here in technology land, IT is typically the supporting act to the product organization. But if you’re somewhere that's just financial services, IT really is a product—we all know enough CIOs in the financial services space who have the CTOs and product reporting to them. So it depends on how you label IT, but often it’s just not a major part of the conversation. It's more a case of providing an annual update.
1 1 Reply
CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed

I think it is very vertically-driven. Whether it's U.S., or Canada, or Europe, whether it's in the pharma side, or any part of electronics or manufacturing, IT is at the table. It's top of the list on the agenda because the role of the CIO has changed to the point that, as CIO, you are the catalyst for transformation and you're supposed to understand the business just as well as the business does.

CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
Coming from multinationals in particular and working with them on a regular basis, I get the sense that they're looking at the risk mitigation of transforming the business model in terms that you wouldn't expect. It's not about financial risk, it's about brand risk or product risk: How will we go forward five years from now, being a fully digital business? This is playing out in an interesting way because now there's a push for Canada to make its own autonomous EV vehicles. We're starting this new industry and what’s fascinating is that the CIO is taking over as the chief idea/innovation/income officer.

All of the risks, regardless of cyber security, are about how we’re using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Are we getting the most bang for our buck? Can we completely ritualize and truly connect in a way that we can be very profitable, very quickly? We've adopted this paradigm where IT is not only sitting at the table, but I get calls from board members all the time and not about pie-in-the-sky dreams of technology. Board members are telling me, "I'm looking at the edge technology that's out there now. If we go down this road, how are we going to incorporate it?"
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Our IT was 1.0% (one) of revenue. IT was absolutely viewed as a utility service

Only when it was IT products for sale did the board care

Or when there were IT Ransomeware or Compliance/Privacy issues
Head, Information Security and Compliance in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Lack of leadership
1 Reply
vp information technology in Consumer Goods, 51 - 200 employees

IT is often still viewed as a cost center. Until IT leaders proactively innovate to reduce cost and improve performance, they will continue to be perceived as such.

Executive Architect in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
Lack of Innovation.
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees
If IT does not provide innovation and is a drive for new revenue and better customer experience then it does not deserve any boards focus.. it will only be seen as utility service… sadly that’s the case in many organizations, but its on the IT leaders to change that and bring attention and focus to the transformative and revolutionary role
IT can/should play in any organization
Assistant Director IT Auditor in Education, 10,001+ employees
From my experience, when the Board is not focusing on IT, then IT is running as intended and achieving its objectives in supporting the business and helping the business in meeting their objectives and goals. (Most CIO/CTO is happy when the Board is not focus on IT). When the Board start focusing on IT then there are issues or potential issues in meeting business needs, performance issues (slow network etc.) and efficiencies, or security problems in areas in cyber.

Content you might like









2.7k views1 Upvote1 Comment