Information technology is a critical driver of strategic transformations as well as organizational performance. Information technology provides the connection to the customer. The information about the customer, the behaviors, the experience and the product uses are strategic assets and input to strategic directions that have long reaching implications. Leadership much assure discipline is applied in governing information technology just as in governing corporate strategy, financials and enterprise risk.
Information technology is second only to leadership in the potential for impact on the enterprise. For this reason alone, the conversations regarding information technology in the boardroom need to be forward looking and strategic with the regimen and rigor boards have come to expect. Unfortunately, too often the discussions are haphazard, not conducted in the language of the board and result from a regulatory requirement or worse, a crisis.
Just a couple of years ago, a McKinsey study of corporate boards indicated that over half had only one information technology discussion per year or none at all. The most recent NACD study on the same topic indicates that corporate boards are hungry for information technology discussion and information. But what is the right information to assure the board that the information technology assets are furthering the strategy of the corporation?