Episode 2: How to Nurture a Tech Savvy Board of Directors and Why It's Essential

Today, technology underpins almost every single strategic business decision, in some form or another. Understanding the upsides of technology, as well as potential risks, is table stakes for any savvy CIO or business leader. But just as important: both the technology and risk expertise must extend to the Board of directors (BoD).

The good news? Rockstar CIOs are in a unique position to help educate their BoDs on technology basics, benefits, and risks. In this second episode of our 5-episode podcast, CIOs: The New Rising Rock Star, we explore why it’s essential to cultivate a tech- and risk-savvy Board.

“As you talk about an obligation to the business, the Board of Directors have been never more in the forefront of making critical decisions about what happens with digital transformation inside of the organization,” says Greg Douglass, who leads Accenture’s Technology Strategy and Advisory business. “They're being asked to approve large expenditures related to technology. They're being asked to review critical new products and services going to market and the impact that technology is going to have on those. And in particular, they're really interested in cybersecurity.”

Greg’s guest, Jeannie Diefenderfer, agrees that cybersecurity expertise is essential. “Effective boards who oversee both technology implementation, as well as looking through the lens of cybersecurity concerns, it's actually best practice in my mind,” says Jeannie, who is CEO of the Higher Ambition Leadership Alliance, a non-profit community formed by and designed for CEOs.

With her extensive BoD experience – serving on the Boards of Digital Bridge, Irth Solutions, and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), NJ Chapter – Jeannie brings a unique point of view to CIOs who seek Board positions themselves. “Boards need holistic, well-rounded business leaders,” she says. “With a CIO background, you bring that technical expertise to the fold with your leadership ability … who can strategically apply your skill set to everything that the business is facing.”

Listen in to learn all the details and read more IT Strategy insights here.