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IT: the elephant in the Boardroom…?

IT: the elephant in the Boardroom…?

Beyond Finance and Legal Matters: Bringing IT to the Board of Directors .


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Board level IT infographic

Recent research emphasizes that Boards of Directors should be putting the guidance and control of Information Technology (IT) on their agendas as well, due to both the potential innovation advantages as well as inherent business risks. However, even though Boards dealing proactively with IT are often found to achieve significantly better business results (see infographic ‘financial performance), recent research shows that in 80% of the cases, IT remains “the elephant in the Boardroom” that doesn’t receive enough attention.

To address this problem, the organizations CEGEKA, KPMG Belgium, Samsung Business, University of Antwerp and Antwerp Management School co-created an innovative research project titled "Board Level IT Governance".

Researchers are now investigating why IT receives insufficient attention at the Board level, while seeking resources and tools to increase awareness. Eventually, this project group will be creating instruments to assist Boards of Directors in their IT governance efforts, such as specific management controls that are critical to posing questions, providing sufficient guidance, etc.


Based on research insights, three recommendations are given to Directors concerning the tasks of providing direction and implementing controls in IT:

1.Give direction in articulating the role of IT in the reliability and innovation factors of the business.

2.Install the appropriate management structures in relation to the role of IT, such as an IT Oversight Committee operating under the auspices of the Board of Directors

3.Ask the right questions about IT in the context of innovation, value and risks.

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