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Time to re-educate the boardroom? A look at how the role of the CIO is evolving

In a world where technology is becoming increasingly integral to competitive advantage, surely it goes without saying that digital literacy and working closely with the CIO would be near the top of the CEO’s agenda?

Well, apparently not. Our "Future Role of the CIO" report showed that only 45 per cent of CIOs globally are involved in the strategic decision making process. Moreover, 80 per cent of CIOs believe a lack of digital literacy amongst senior executives could be hampering business growth.

Understandably, CIOs are concerned that this is causing a lack of market responsiveness, missed business and investment opportunities, poor competitiveness and a slower time to market.

Clearly, work needs to be done to ensure that IT becomes integrated fully into all boardroom operations, and business strategy. With trends such as cloud computing, mobility, and big data analytics offering huge potential benefits for businesses (both in terms of improved efficiency and cost savings) it is vital that the CIO plays an equally important role in decision making and strategy as the CFO, CMO and other members of the board.

Technology is no longer a standalone issue which can be addressed by a group of “techies” tucked away in the engine room. IT complements a wide range of business areas including marketing, finance, customer relations. This is why it is so important that directors are well versed in all things digital – so they are able to spot opportunities across the business to save costs and ultimately improve business operations.

Involving the CIO in boardroom decisions has the potential to drive innovation and propel businesses forward, so it is time for boardrooms across the UK to wake up to the opportunities digital literacy can facilitate. In a tough economic climate, finding a competitive edge, whether that’s through improved customer service, mobile working or optimising data, can transform a business, making the CIO and digital literacy vital components of an effective boardroom.

Colin Bannister is CTO and Vice President of Technical Sales for UK&I. The office of the CTO in Europe works closely with CA Technologies largest customers and partners to ensure that the relevant solution strategy maps appropriately to customer needs. Colin is responsible for managing the technical pre-sales teams and for defining and promoting CA Technologies solution strategy.