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09:07 PM
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, InformationWeek
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CIOs Get Respect

CIOs finally may be getting the respect they deserve. While few sit on the boards of directors of the world's largest companies, 75 percent of global executives believe CIOs belong on corporate boards, according to a recent study by executive search firm Korn/Ferry International (Los Angeles).

The online survey of more than 2,000 executives from a variety of industries found that 46 percent believe CIOs "absolutely" have a role to play on a company's board of directors, and 29 percent "somewhat" believe CIOs have a role to play on such boards. Only 3 percent say "not at all" when asked whether they believe CIOs have a role to play on corporate boards.

"The pressure is on for companies to find board members who have a full complement of business experience," says Richard Spitz, global managing director of Korn/Ferry's technology market practice. Currently, the majority of company boards are comprised of CEOs, CFOs and other executives, he notes. CIOs, however, make up a very small minority of board members across large companies, Spitz continues. But, he adds, it's likely that more CIOs will be considered for board membership as the perception of their roles evolves from that of managers focused on regulatory compliance, back-end operations and administration, to that of executives who understand business processes and the competitive environment, and who provide companies with a competitive advantage.

Tech Value Not in Question

Most executives do value the improvements technology delivers, however. In the Korn/Ferry survey, 96 percent of executives say they believe technology has improved efficiency at their companies.

When it comes to tech spending, 51 percent of respondents believe technology spending is beginning to improve. Twenty-eight percent think it appears to be relatively stable, and 5 percent think current tech spending "is as good as it will get." Nine percent say they think tech spending is in "the midst of a major upswing," while 7 percent think "It may be poised for another downturn."

Courtesy of InformationWeek, a CMP Media property.

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