Why Aren't There More CIO's on Boards?
CIOReview
CIOREVIEW >> Enterprise Architecture >>

Why Aren't There More CIO's on Boards?

Tony Leng, MD and CIO Practice Leader, Diversified Search
Tony Leng, MD and CIO Practice Leader, Diversified Search

Tony Leng, MD and CIO Practice Leader, Diversified Search

PWC put out a study in 2014 which said that the top 5 things that keep CEO’s awake at night are: Security, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud and IoT (In­ternet of Things). They are all technolo­gy related, and yet if you look at Boards, you find few CIO’s. What’s going on?

Don’t get me wrong–there are CIO’s on Boards. Our firm has been involved in a number of searches where forward thinking CEO’s and Nominating Committees have taken action. We say hats off to them. But why isn’t everyone doing it? Security is a key topic in the Boardroom, and every CIO I know is spending more and more time with their Boards, talking about what the company is doing. Hiring a great CIO is definitely part of the solution, but having a CIO on the Board is the next logical step.

Companies increasingly acknowl­edge that they are technology business­es. Early on FedEx realized this–the data about the package are as important as the package. A CIO I know said–“we are a technology company with wings”; an insurance CIO said “we are a data­base and software company operating in the insurance space”. Technology is increasingly at the core of the purpose of organizations. I have a simple definition of the universal company purpose–“to find and keep customers”. CIO’s used to be “leverage”–harmonization, standard­ization, cost reduction, but now they are “top line”. And if they are thinking top line, then my contention is that any ma­jor corporation needs to have a top cali­ber CIO on its Board.

“Hiring a great CIO is definitely part of the solution, but having a CIO on the Board is the next logical step”

In one organization where we placed a CIO on the Board, the CIO of that organization said to me “I am nervous about having someone who really knows IT at the Board level. My life may become miserable!” but a year later she said “it is the best thing that has happened to our company. I now have someone on the Board who understands how technology can enable, and helps me explain the technology journey, but with the credibility of an insider on the Board team”.

Read Also

Disrupt Your Legacy Application Portfolio to Improve Security And...

Jonathan Behnke, Chief Information Officer, City of San Diego

Why a Credentialing Strategy Must be Part of Your Digital Strategy

Jack Suess, CIO, Collin Mood, Senior Computer Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County

The Convergence of IT with the Internet of Things Innovation

Andy Shang, Vice President of Engineering, Gold Medal Products

It’s On People: The Undeniable Cultural Impact in a Digital...

Nuno Pedras, Chief Information & Digital Officer, Galp

A Promising Road Ahead for Insurtech

Chris Purcell, CIO, PEMCO

Bolloré Logistics Australia becomes a global leader in the use of...

Stuart Darby, Commercial Director - Pacific Region, Bolloré Logistics