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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

June - 2009 - issue > Management

Corporate Governance and the role of IT

Stephanie Moore
Monday, June 8, 2009
Stephanie Moore
It's a fact: today corporate governance and IT governance are inextricably linked. However, while it is obvious senior executives cannot properly govern without relying on information from IT systems and external data sources, many senior management teams do not view IT or IT leaders as critical components of their corporate governance strategy. In fact, in many companies, CIOs do not even report to their CEOs, but rather to the CFO – leaving not only the financial risk, but also the risk of IT failure (failure to secure, to comply, and the inexcusable failure to innovate) up to one person.

Where does the CIO report?

Going forward, CIOs and IT executives must have a seat at the CEOs table.

CIOs have been asking for this kind of access and influence for years, with varying degrees of success. CIOs reporting to the CFO often do not fully understand the importance of ITs role in the business, but instead view IT as a utility. This typically means that ITs mission is to keep the lights on at the lowest possible cost to the business and make certain laptops and email are up and running.

In contrast, CIOs who report to the chief business executive are often responsible for not only ‘keeping the lights on,’ but also have an important role in moving the business forward as the force behind driving innovation. In such companies there is an acknowledgement that IT underpins everything a company does … and that not properly governing IT imposes dire risk. That risk could include both short and long-term survival of the business.

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