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Gartner - What the Board Wants from the CIO


What the Board of Directors Wants to Know About IT – Tina Nunno
(Tina reviews board presos from CIOs)

On average, the board is made up of 60-70 yrs old. Varying comfort with technology.
#1 request from Boards is someone who has technology knowledge
The average CIO only attend the Board meetings about 7% of the time.
This says that the Board is interested in tech but doesn’t want to ask the CIO.

CIO needs to focus on relevancy of information
Tips on presenting:
  1. Be brief – concise
  2. Openness – the board wants to know about risks
  3. Accurate – board mtgs can be public record
  4. Relevant
  5. Diplomatic
The mess you are trying to clean up was probably caused by someone in the room! Be careful.
The Board wants to know if the CIO is a business or a technology leader? Think about the language you use.

The Board wants to know that the proper controls are in place. Unfortunately this is where the CIO conversation stops.
Boards bring people back to the table based on how relevant and interesting they are. 

CIO Key Message: Deliver competitive advantage
    1. Leveraging emerging technologies
    2. Manage innovation
    3. Take calculated risks
Levels of Maturity – conversation with the Board depends on IT level of maturity
  1. Isolated competency
  2. Risk Mitigation
  3. Benefits Realization
  4. Competitive Innovation
CIOs can be overly excited about sharing too much info – be careful
Boards care about 3 things:
  1. Top line growth
  2. Bottom-line savings
  3. Risk Mgmt
Measure these based on Investment impact H-M-L – IT investments impact all three
When will we get the value? Boards do not like surprises. Most Boards are not approving projects unless ROI is less than one year.

Boards care about costs. Board cares about vendors and the technology – is vendor mature, are they dominant, CIO experience with the tech?
"For some reason, tech people seem reluctant that they haven't done something before" - Board Member
"We're expensive because you are confused" - CIO to Board

Discuss IT as a portfolio  of value and risk– put IT in financial terms so that they can relate to it
  • Competitive Differentiators – investment principle "Invest to Grow"
  • Commodities and Ops - "Cheap and good enough"
  • Infra and Compliance - "Sunken or Depreciated Costs"
  • Innovation and Game Changers - "Experiment and Write off"
Tell the Board how they should feel about the data you present to them. Many decisions are made from gut feeling. Tell them how to interpret the data. Show patterns to help reveal challenges and opportunities. Show before and after results.

Board wants to know about IT Skills and Staffing.

"Here's a Dilbert cartoon. Please give me $5 million dollars." CIO to Board - LOL

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