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One-third of directors lack understanding of IT, study says

PwC releases its Annual Corporate Directors Survey

Information technology (IT) is rising to the top of priorities for corporate directors as they recognized the increase importance of IT oversight, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

PwC released its US 2013 Annual Corporate Directors Survey results earlier this week, and it revealed a number of interesting findings. “With technology rapidly changing the way companies do business, more boards are turning to outside consultants for advice on IT strategy and risk oversight,” PwC said in its release about the results.  “Meanwhile, directors are also taking a close look at their companies’ ability to embrace digital transformation and strategically utilize emerging technologies.”

The survey was conducted throughout the summer and includes responses from 934 company directors. Some of the survey highlights include:

  • 15% say IT is critical, noting the increased importance of the IT revolution at their companies (only 13% said it was critical in 2012)
  • 61% want to spend more time on IT-related risks in the coming year
  • 35% use outside consultants to advise on IT strategy—up 8% from 2012
  • 32% say they do not have a sufficient understanding of IT to support the company’s strategy and IT risk mitigation
  • 24% report that they are not sufficiently engaged in understanding the company’s level of cyber-security spend
  • 22% say they are not sufficiently engaged in understanding the competitors’ leverage of emerging technologies

“The technology revolution is significantly impacting the boardroom, prompting directors to increase their time and focus on IT, reconsider their oversight approach and seek new ways to enhance their digital IQ,” Mary Ann Cloyd, leader of PwC’s Center for Board Governance, said in the release. “While directors have made notable strides to improve effectiveness of oversight, ensuring IT strategy and risk are woven into their company’s overall business plan remains a challenge.”

Read more recent InsideCounsel stories relating to IT:

Congressman asks to bar NSA’s “back doors” to encryption

Facebook and Yahoo ask court to allow them to publish data

E-Discovery: Is BYOD a B-A-D idea?

Cybersecurity a top concern for general counsel



Cathleen Flahardy

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