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CIOs must be board level for companies to benefit from emerging technologies

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Why you need to consider BICompany boards must work more closely with their CIOs if they are to benefit from ‘disruptive’ technologies, including cloud computing and mobile internet, that have the greatest potential to drive innovation and growth. This is a key finding in a new report – ‘The Board and the CIO’- published by Advanced 365 (Advanced).

The report highlights the need for CIOs to be included in board level decision making and for senior executives to enhance their technical knowledge to help improve their business’ competitive advantage.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute disruptive technologies could contribute between $165 trillion and $275 trillion to the global economy by 2025. Alongside cloud computing and mobile internet, some of the 12 key emerging technologies include advanced robotics, 3D printing, the automation of knowledge work and the Internet of Things.

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Neil Cross, Managing Director Advanced 365 comments: “Technology now influences every area of business but some organisations are only using a fraction of its potential to drive business vision and strategy forwards. To bridge this gulf, company boards must work more closely with their CIOs to identify the solutions that can transform their business – now and in the future.

“More businesses are realising that CIOs hold the key to driving innovation and supporting board-level decision making to turn vision into reality. In contrast, boards that sleepwalk through technological advances are likely to get left behind by their competitors.”

The report also highlights research by Accenture that reveals that 93 per cent of senior US and European executives regard their company’s long-term success to be dependent on its ability to innovate. Less than one in five (18 per cent) believe their own innovation strategy is delivering a competitive advantage and only 34 per cent of survey respondents feel their company has a well-defined innovation strategy.

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Boards are increasingly appointing CIOs from business as well as traditional IT backgrounds to ensure they benefit from commercial and technical expertise. The paper includes advice to help board members identify potential CIOs with the knowledge, experience and leadership qualities that are key to business growth in the digital age.

“Developing an integrated business and IT strategy requires more effective communication between CIOs and board members. The role of the CIO is evolving rapidly as they are asked to think about business strategy as well as day to day operations to ensure sustainable growth,” concludes Cross.