Corporate Boards and IT: Too Much Talk, Too Little Action

Most corporate board members talk the talk about the importance of information technology to their company, but fewer are walking the walk and taking actions to align IT with overall corporate strategy.

This is the overarching message coming out of a new survey, The Board and Information Technology Strategies, by Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte Touche USA LLP, one of the nation s providers of professional services, and Corporate Board Member magazine. The survey respondents also suggested a distinct and positive correlation between the attention paid to IT and corporate performance. The survey was conducted in the fall of 2006 and involved more than 450 directors of publicly traded companies with revenues of more than $1 billion. The directors responded to questions ranging from how often their boards discuss IT strategy to how they think IT has affected their companies ability to effectively meet their business objectives. Some of the key findings and trends from the survey include: Boards are not involved to the degree they believe they should be in IT directors did not indicate a commensurate level of activity with the level of recognition of IT s importance. 10 percent of boards relegate IT matters to a board committee. Only 11 percent of boards discuss IT at every meeting. 14 percent of boards are completely and actively involved in IT strategy. Directors who report a higher level of involvement in IT matters have a better understanding of IT s importance to their business and their performance. Directors report that effectiveness in executing on IT strategy correlates to better financial performance. Furthermore, the survey found that even though 22 percent of the respondents blame various aspects of IT strategy for their companies inability to achieve its goals, 52 percent say their board will be spending no more time on IT over the next three years than it does now. The findings also indicated that when the CEO leads the discussion, boards are more completely and actively involved in IT. Source: www.dmreview.coma>