Boards need IT savvy directors
The current edition of the Ivey Business Journal has an article entitled Adding value: The case for adding IT-savvy directors to the board. It offers some interesting insights into how boards view IT, and what IT expertise the boards themselves have.
The article is critical of boards that do not have IT expertise, or at least pay attention to it.
After all, it is not only "tech" companies that survive and thrive on IT. Wal-Mart and UPS are 2 examples of companies that sell products and services in no way related to IT - but attribute a large part of their success to innovative uses of IT.
The article says:
To our surprise, only two of the boards in our study had ever discussed the competitive advantage conferred by their technology or systems, even where their entire product line was entirely information-based.
I recomend the article to any business of any type or size, even if you only read the conclusion, which says in part:
Our study led us to conclude that boards in general today are poorly positioned to embrace a "valueadding" role for IT....In fact, most boards lack even a superficial understanding of technology....boards need to consider changes in several areas. As a start, IT experience should become an important criterion for a board appointment instead of the present practice in which IT experience is seldom a concern.