Boards Want to Learn About Emerging IT Issues

Directors admit they aren’t adequately engaged in topics such as social media and IT-enabled business innovation

Get ready to answer more questions from your board of directors about social media, new business models and competitive intelligence. Board members expect to spend more time on IT this year and recognize that they haven't paid much attention to some key areas, according to a survey of 860 corporate directors by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A startling 51 percent of directors say they aren't adequately engaged in overseeing and understanding new business models enabled by IT.

Boards hunger for information about the potential business rewards of these IT concepts, says Don Keller, a partner at PwC's Center for Board Governance. There is no established process on most boards for evaluating emerging IT issues, Keller says. As a result, "there is a general discomfort with IT." (Read more: "CIOs Say Corporate Directors Are Clueless About IT.")

In the PwC survey, directors admit they are "not sufficiently" or "not at all" engaged in other critical IT matters, including:

  • Developing a crisis-management plan for social-media disasters (57 percent)
  • How the company supports employees who use personal devices for work (62 percent)
  • Employee training in social media (64 percent)
  • Understanding how competitors use social media and other emerging technologies (66 percent)

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