The tech-savvy board: Engaging with CIOs and management on strategy, risk, and performance

Deloitte Insights

The tech-savvy board

Engaging with CIOs and management on strategy, risk, and performance

Being tech-savvy has become an essential capability for today’s board. It’s important for boards to look beyond the defensive applications of cyber risk to embrace the role of technology in driving new opportunities, business models, and revenue sources.

Smart, connected, and disruptive technologies can transform organizations—and in doing so, they offer an array of both opportunities and risks. There’s a fast-growing recognition that board members need to develop a much deeper understanding of technology, including how it integrates with and can drive—or disrupt—strategy. It’s critical that boards understand not only the broad set of risks technology creates but also the potential upsides it presents—and the role they play in overseeing management’s actions in addressing those implications effectively.

How can boards do this?

  • They can actively work to identify and address their knowledge gaps in technology topics. Board members don’t need to be technology experts but do need to have enough context to question and steer management in the right direction.
  • They can recognize that technology presents an opportunity as well as a threat. According to Deloitte’s research, organizations whose boards are actively engaged on technology issues typically perform better financially.1 By helping management leverage the use of technology, boards can help catapult businesses to a different level.
  • Boards often consider IT to be a stand-alone function. Instead, they can view it as an integrated part of business operations and strategy, and recognize the organization’s dependence on technology in achieving its business goals.

1 A survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited in conjunction with Corporate Board Member found that 61 percent of directors at high-performing companies said their company does a good job of measuring and monitoring IT, compared to just 56 percent of directors in companies as a whole. (Corporate Board Member, 2007 Board and Information Technology Strategies Report). (From “The Tech Intelligent Board”) View in article

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Tonie Leatherberry
United States

Debbie McCormack
United States

Khalid Kark
United States

Robert Lamm
United States

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