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Seven Points CIOs Must Know About the Board of Directors

  • Seven Points CIOs Must Know About the Board of Directors

    Seven Points CIOs Must Know About the Board of Directors-

    As companies continue to navigate through uncertain economic times, the internal politics of the board surface as alliances form and shift. It is important to know who holds the power on the board. Is it concentrated in one shareholder? Is it shared among a group that votes as a coalition? Does the CEO hold more power than the board?

    CIO Action: For CIOs who aspire to sit on a board of directors or to lead an executive team, knowing the power centers and how to influence them is a key skill. Those who are less ambitious may find it convenient to outsource all issues regarding politics to their CEO.

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Seven Points CIOs Must Know About the Board of Directors

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    As companies continue to navigate through uncertain economic times, the internal politics of the board surface as alliances form and shift. It is important to know who holds the power on the board. Is it concentrated in one shareholder? Is it shared among a group that votes as a coalition? Does the CEO hold more power than the board?

    CIO Action: For CIOs who aspire to sit on a board of directors or to lead an executive team, knowing the power centers and how to influence them is a key skill. Those who are less ambitious may find it convenient to outsource all issues regarding politics to their CEO.

As CIOs increase their interactions with the board of directors, it is vital that they improve their knowledge of this unique and independent audience, according to Gartner, Inc. Only 16 percent of board directors have any IT background or experience, so CIOs need to treat the board as one of their most valued customers if they are to improve their overall ability to work with the board of directors.

"The board of directors is an entity that has little IT experience or time to dedicate to the business of the corporation, and whose attentions can be divided among other companies. Nevertheless, it is the highest authority in the management of the organization," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "To better prepare CIOs for the time when they will have to present to the board of directors, or to improve what they are doing with the board now, they'll need to know some vital information about the board of directors in order to build an effective bridge to it."

Gartner has identified seven areas that CIOs must understand and act upon in order to effectively work with the board.

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