20 October 2005 A mere 8% of companies in the Fortune Global 500 list have IT representatives on the board of directors, according to a newly published survey.
The report, commissioned by global PR consultants Burson-Marsteller (BM), found that despite there being some evidence of a link between an IT presence on the management board and superior corporate performance, fewer than one in 10 of the Global 500 companies gave its CIO a seat on the board.
Among the European companies on the list, that proportion was slightly less (7%).
Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, BM’s chief research officer and author of the study, saw this level of technology consultation as insufficient for the modern business climate.
“To remain competitive, companies need to regard IT as an integral part of their business strategy and redeem its value with strategic guidance and support from the highest ranks of the organisation.”
Companies in North America and the Asia-Pacific region boast the highest level of IT involvement in board-level decision making, a fact the report’s authors attribute to the competition between the two regions to be technologically innovative.
A further study was conducted examining India’s Economic Times top 25 companies. Of these companies, 42% had a CIO or equivalent on the board of directors. In China, the figure was just 6%.
Bill Rylance, CEO of BM’s Asia-Pacific division, said that the IT expertise found in the board rooms of Indian companies “brings success in managing large-scale workforces and delivering high-quality products and services.”