Directors ignorant about IT

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Directors ignorant about IT

There is a distinct lack of IT competence and knowledge within Australian company boards according to research conducted by local recruitment firm, Talent2.

There is a distinct lack of IT competence and knowledge within Australian company boards according to research conducted by local recruitment firm, Talent2.

According to Talent2, only three percent of Fortune Global 500 companies have a CEO with previous IT experience, including those at Intel, MCI, Progressive and Walgreen, while only three per cent of COOs have experence as a CIO.

Paul Rush, senior IT consultant, Talent2, said 95 percent of senior management did not know what their annual IT spend was spent on, and only 17 percent of boards were able to identify where a major IT failure or loss had been made.

Paul Rush, senior IT consultant at Talent2, said businesses were putting their balance sheet and strategic direction at risk by failing to involve IT executives in boardroom strategy discussions.

“We should be following the European example with one in fourteen of the biggest companies boasting a CIO or equivalent position on the board," he said.

According to Rush, local IT bosses believed this was symptomatic of boards viewing the IT function as a cost centre rather than something that can provide competitive advantage.

“A seat in the boardroom remains elusive for most CIOs as businesses continue to exclude IT chiefs from high-level strategic planning,” he said.

Rush said many countries in the Asia-Pacific region were benefiting from having senior IT personnel on the board.

"In India, companies were 10 times more likely to have a CIO on the board than companies elsewhere in the world," he said. "The rising economies of the east are better prepared to embrace the future and compete head-to-head with contenders from developed countries.”


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