(Panelists) Catherine Boivie, Executive in Residence, Beedie School of Business, SFU;
Eugen Klein, Principal, Klein Group Royal LePage City Centre;
Doug Brownridge, COO, It's just Lunch
(Moderator) Victoria Withers, Director of Board, BlueShore Financial, VCH and VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
Boards are watching closely. Security, cloud, social networking, big data, BI analytics and mobile are being discussed in terms of defining risks that may disrupt business models and in creating new business opportunities. Boards expect CIOs to understand, manage and leverage technologies to address the requirements of today and plan for the future. The panelists, all experienced Board Directors, will discuss Boards’ expectations of the CIO in presenting the organization’s information technology plan as a strategic resource.
The diverse and deeply experienced panel addressed a variety of issues characterizing the Board of Directors (BoD) - CIO relationship. The conspicuously tech-savy members of the panel unanimously urged CIO's to "speak the language of business". During their brief exchanges with the BoD, it was suggested, CIO's should predominantly focus on elucidating the business value propositions of IT initiatives and investments. Doing so, the panel vociferously stated, would unequivocally result in thawing of the BoD-CIO relations. Interestingly, there were calls for CIO's to utilize the risk review committees as a supplementary channel to engage the board in discussions about IT solutions. In addition, the panel repeatedly emphasized that overseeing and developing strategies to mitigate IT risk was a priority for the BoD and it was incumbent upon CIO's, besides highlighting the plans for IT value creation, to allay concerns regarding the same.