Technology and the boardroom: A CIO’s guide to engaging the board  

1 March 2019:

Because technology is a crucial part of business strategy, boards and CIOs may need to elevate their engagement and collaboration with each other. How can CIOs lead and guide the conversation about technology's impact on business trajectory?

TECHNOLOGY is a strategic imperative in nearly every organization, regardless of industry, sector, or geography. Few companies are immune to the influence of technology-driven disruption, innovation, or value creation. Business strategy is now largely technology strategy, and high-performing CIOs are both leading technology deployments and helping the business develop and implement technology-enabled business strategies. “There isn’t a single strategy in any business that isn’t enabled by technology,” affirms Sheila Jordan, SVP and CIO of Symantec. “Technology is the common denominator in every single key strategic imperative in every company.”1

Many board members agree. “As the pace of change quickens, technology now leads and influences business strategy in almost all companies and industries,” says Scott Bonham, board director at Magna, Scotiabank, and Loblaw Companies Limited. “It is imperative for board members to understand these disruptive changes as they relate to technology, guide the organization to go beyond traditional IT conversations, and leverage technology to grow the business.2

Yet CIOs—ostensibly the stewards of the organization’s technology agenda—infrequently appear in the boardroom, and when they do, they often find it difficult to engage directors in a strategic dialogue. This CIO Insider aims to help CIOs be more effective in positioning technology on the board’s agenda, providing education and awareness for the board, and communicating strategic concerns. Based on multiple interviews with both CIOs and board members, it presents CIOs with recommendations for engaging with the board on preserving and growing shareholder value.

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Source: Deloitte

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