Corporate Directors Need IT Smarts To Do The Job

Many corporate directors would like to devote more time and attention to information technology (IT) but they simply don’t know how, a report released March 1 finds.

The report, titled ‘The Tech-Intelligent Board: Priorities for Tech-Savvy Directors,’ was authored by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It highlights the need for IT knowledge in the boardroom.

In modern day corporations, technology is not only ingrained into everyday business operations; it is also a competitive differentiator,’ says Adel Melek, a global managing director in Deloitte’s information and technology risk division. 

John Fodera, a partner in the technology audit group at EisnerAmper, an accounting and advisory firm, explains why IT knowledge is important for directors.

‘If a company is found to have had a data breach, and it is reported to state attorneys general, regulatory bodies and the public, that company can suffer an existential risk with its reputation severely damaged, and with mitigation only possible after a very long and costly effort of remediation,’ Fodera says. ‘And another significant risk is the loss of reputation.’

According to the report, the key IT areas directors should pay attention to include: using technology to foster more communication between board members, taking a risk-intelligent approach to IT oversight, developing IT strategies to achieve the organisation’s strategic objectives, providing technology education in the boardroom and ensuring important IT projects deliver the appropriate information to enhance the overall understanding of the company’s business transactions

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