The data suggested that between-meeting-communication about technology matters is very infrequent. Only 14% communicate between meetings and 51% rarely or never communicate between meetings. 10% often communicate and 25% sometimes do.
The data indicates that the preferred mechanisms for governing technology are Executive Review Boards and Project Management offices. Relatively few companies have Technology Committees of their Boards of Directors.
We also know that there are several Fortune 1000 companies that have established Technology Committees of their Boards and that technology companies have do not focus on internal technology issues, challenges or opportunities.
Given the data - and in some cases in spite of the data - there are several recommendations Id like to make:
The prescriptive literature suggests that its time for boards to assume more meaningful oversight of technology investments and strategies. The descriptive literature suggests that theres relatively little board involvement in technology planning or oversight. The survey data that I collected supports the descriptive literature: there is relatively little board involvement in technology planning or oversight.
This is a pivotal time in the evolution of technology governance. Technology is simultaneously becoming commoditized and strategic. The cost keeps rising as well, with many companies now spending 5% or more of their annual gross revenue on technology.
While the majority of companies still use Technology Review Boards and Project Management Offices to govern technology (that govern well below Boards of Directors), companies whose technology budgets are growing and whose perception of technology is more strategic than operational should consider moving technology up the governance hierarchy to the board level.
What do you think? Should Boards of Directors get involved with technology - or be kept at arms length (as they have for decades)?