How to get a seat on the board: 10 tips for CIOs

CIOs serving on a range of non-profit and public boards offer some tips for IT leaders looking to navigate the process of seeking board seats.

Concerned with cybersecurity breaches and digital disruptions, corporate boards are installing seasoned IT leaders who can balance data protection with innovation. In fact, the number of CIOs serving on Fortune 100 boards in the past three years has grown by 74 percent, according to a 2017 Korn Ferry study.

And with good reason. Forty-eight percent of board technology conversations center on cyber risk and privacy topics, while 32 percent are concerned with technology-enabled digital transformation, according to research from Deloitte, which offers a CIO’s guide to engaging with the board.

Not having someone at the table who understands digital transformation is a competitive disadvantage, says Diana McKenzie, former CIO of Workday. For example, McKenzie says that many corporate boards don’t understand the landscape regarding cybersecurity threats. "It's becoming a major factor now for many boards,” McKenzie tells CIO.com.

CIOs meanwhile view boards as platforms for burnishing their business acumen, where they can demonstrate their ability to analyze anything from balance sheets to 10-K filings. Technology leaders shared their experiences landing board seats and offered advice for how up-and-coming peers may do the same.

Passion, board bio are critical

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