With a higher degree of digital fluency, boards can help C-suite leaders make better decisions about how to expand a company’s most successful technology initiatives and when to pull the plug on lagging ones. In our experience, board directors are more likely to gain such fluency if they routinely ask these five critical questions relating to the IT organization’s performance:
- How well does technology enable the core business?
- What value is the business getting from its most important IT projects?
- How long does it take the IT organization to develop and deploy new features and functionality?
- How efficient is IT at rolling out technologies and achieving desired outcomes?
- How strong is our supply of next-generation IT talent?
By systematically considering each question, boards can generate practical, detailed conversations about both IT projects and processes. This approach can help directors understand exactly how much value IT is creating for a company and how its IT capabilities stack up against those of competitors. Costs associated with IT performance will remain an important topic in the boardroom—hence the need to monitor returns on critical projects—but should not dominate the conversation, as they do currently. Making these questions a formal part of IT discussions can also help CIOs determine exactly which data relating to IT projects and processes will be most useful to the board.
Source: Five Questions Boards Should Ask About IT in a Digital World by Aditya Pande, Christoph Schrey | McKinsey Quarterly