New research suggests that just under half of UK CIOs sit on their respective boards. Frankly, I’d be surprised if the true number was that high and even if the figure was substantially lower it’s hard to get too worked up about the situation.
A European-wide poll by Progress Software indicates that 48 per cent of UK CIOs take a seat on the board, compared to 69 per cent in France (Vive le difference and all that).
Progress European technology director Giles Nelson believes that information-centric organisations risk missing out on opportunities if they understate the importance of IT to strategy and noted that only in 13 per cent of cases did CIOs surveyed have a say in signing off plans.
Ruediger Spies, vice president of enterprise applications at research firm IDC, contends that, given how critical technology is to many businesses, more CIOs should be given boardroom positions.
The subject of the CIO and his status, or perceived lack thereof, is an old chestnut and it may be time to chop it off the survey agenda. As CIO columnist Richard Sykes has said, it matters less whether the IT chief has an official position on the board than whether he or she has the power to influence those that do. Companies that are modern and thriving recognise the importance of IT and the image of the IT boss as geek or nerd is very outdated.
Sure, some in IT might lament being occasionally overlooked when a plan is being hatched but then so might many marketers, HR chiefs or other influencers.