No CIO on Your Board? Why a Technologist on Board is Crucial for Business Decision Making


The Chief Information Officer really needs to have a permanent place on the board. Times are changing, today’s businesses not only rely on IT, in fact most of them thrive because technology is a building block for any successful business and efficient use of technology has become crucial for achieving enterprise goals.

So why don’t more CIO’s have a seat on the board? Sure, they are often asked to report to the board on technology matters, but why are more companies not appointing them to the Board of Directors? As the head of technology departments, they are clearly better placed to align business goals and strategy with technology.

Why should businesses start listening to their CIO’s and make them a part of the board? There are three main reasons.

Bring them Closer to the Value Matrix

One of the biggest values that IT contributes to a company is developing cost-cutting technologies. More often than not, companies are in search of new ways to reduce costs while still adding value. The best way to achieve this is through innovative technology. While CIO’s are experts in their fields, they’re not necessarily experts in the business profit and loss mechanics. For the board, this is a major point of discussion. By bringing a CIO on board you put them on the forefront of such discussions. It makes it possible for the CIO to understand how the value matrix contributes to the success of the business and they can then align this with the technology strategy and roadmap.

Tech Trends Converging with Business Trends

Client intimacy is a top priority for CEO’s and in most cases to achieve this, technology has to come to play. Creative use of technology is necessary if a customer-focused business strategy is to amount to anything. So, it’s important that the CIO is actively involved, right from the start, in the development and implementation of all customer-centric solutions.

Besides understanding how business technologies lead to lowered costs and new revenue sources, boards also need to understand the risks technologies can pose, especially as digital platforms increase in popularity. A CIO’s expertise will act as a facilitator to such knowledge while keeping other board members up-to-date with new technological strategies.

In-House Customer Feedback

Ironically, even B2B technology companies who sell their services to the IT community rarely have CIO’s serving on their boards. A CIO gives you the opportunity to have an expert provide you with customer perspectives.

When it comes to strategy, new product offerings, and acquisitions, CIO’s will be invaluable as they have a better understanding of how the technology systems work and what value they stand to bring to the business and to its customers. A CIO can often provide very valuable insight into which product or service offering is most valuable or useful to your customers.

In Conclusion

CIO’s absolutely need to be on the board. They drive innovation but can also, provide a Board of Directors with key insights that the organisation may previously have been blind to. A CIO on your board of directors means access to first-hand information from a company insider. CIO’s are involved in shaping enterprise goals, and the more involved they are in the decision-making process at board level, the more effective they are.

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