A recent article in The Times caught my eye with the sub heading “We are all digital revolutionaries now”.The article highlighted the fact that, whether your company makes razor blades or provides local healthcare, digital needs to be central to what you do as a business.
However, even though many companies are aware of this, and with digital transformation being the business and IT buzz word of the day, it is still staggering to see that only four of the FTSE100 companies have technical representation on their boards. And outside the FTSE it is reported that 85% of management teams have no IT representation.

Don’t leave digital strategy out of the boardroom

If technical representation is not on a company’s board, then it is reasonable to deduct that digital or IT strategy is not really on their agenda – despite business leader’s protestations that they “get digital”. Without the true alignment of business and digital strategy then digital cannot help to shape your business and may struggle to keep your business competitive.
Indeed, a McKinnsey report back in 2015, highlighted the need for IT to be at board level. Without it, when a company is planning its business strategy, it will be unable to achieve any business benefits from digital. In other words, it’s a missed growth opportunity.

4 Reasons you should have a CIO at the top table

The reasons are many, but here are my top four:
1. Shaping business strategy – to have a high-performing, digitally led business you need to embrace technology at the highest level
2. Spurring innovation – a CIO can act as a catalyst with other teams and departments to understand their issues and needs, and create innovative solutions.
3. Cybersecurity – with the proliferation of digital devices, IT is continually pushing out an organisation’s security boundaries, so cybersecurity needs to be a key element in any business’ plans.
4. Your digital coach – CIOs should help their CEOs and other managers personally develop and learn about the digital business world.

Why size shouldn’t matter

Yet for many small to medium businesses, having a full-time IT Director or CIO is often beyond their means. I’ve spoken to many of these organisations who feel that such a thing is a luxury and only for larger organisations.
However, I truly believe size should not matter when it comes to a CIO. It’s why Fairway has developed a Virtual CIO or fractional CIO solution which offers the same benefits as a full-time IT professional but in a more cost-effective, flexible and time-efficient way. We arrange our Virtual COI to fit your company’s needs. You can find out more about its advantages here.
Yet whatever your company does, whatever its size and needs, digital should not be ignored at the business strategy stage. Having a CIO at your top table will make your plans more streamlined, more competitive and more contemporary. It will make you more adaptable, flexible and, I believe, more successful too. So isn’t it time you got on board?

Fairway Consulting provides Digital Transformation, vCIO and IT consultancy to help companies negotiate through the challenges and get the best value out of digital technologies and systems. We are passionate about helping our clients improve their bottom line using technology.

Interested in how your company could benefit?


Author: David Thomas. With a broad range of experience – 20+ years, across many industries and sizes of environments. I am focused on helping clients maximize business potential whilst reducing operational costs.


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