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Just 2% of FTSE 350 Companies Have Tech Representative on Their Board

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Organisations need to include CTOs in their boards to keep up with rapid technology changes.

A recent study by Russam GMS revealed that only 2% of the FTSE 350 companies have Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on their board. However, the study indicated that 36% of the companies had a senior executive with a technology background.

Cathy Kay, the Director of Russam GMS, noted that:

The statistics are alarming because they imply that most organisations are not ready to embrace technological change. Firms need to start treating technology as a core function. Indeed, embracing technology can help the UK close the productivity gap between it and the other G7 economies.

The fact that the UK will be competing with the EU means that it needs to be armed with technological competitiveness that match or exceed that of European peers. This can only happen if there is an IT specialist at the senior decision-making level to drive organizational change. Firms need to embrace technology at the operational level or risk becoming redundant.

The Russam GMS report notes that putting CTOs in the board is only part of the solution. To fully harness the potential of IT, boards need to embrace technological change and outline a vision that becomes part of the organisational culture. The report recommends that:

1. Firms should appoint CTOs to the board with the mandate of driving technology strategy.

2. Appoint a change manager who will liaise with the CTO to champion the need for change.

3. Develop tech talent and establish recruitment plans that match the firm’s technology needs.

4. Form a digital transformation committee that will develop a technology strategy.

5. Organise innovation workshops to educate and enlighten board members on the need for IT transformation.

Cathy Kay of Russam GMS warns:

The most profound technological changes will happen in the future, and firms risk being left behind as the rest of the world transforms.

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