Evaluation of Human Resources Directors

Directors and Information Technology Oversight  February 14, 2013 – 02:23 pm
Human Resources Department

Editor’s Note: Mary Ann Cloyd is leader of the Center for Board Governance at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. This post is based on a publication from PwC. The full text, including footnotes, is available here.

The "IT confidence gap"

Overseeing a company’s information technology activities is a significant challenge for directors. The pace of change in this area is rapid, the subject matter is complicated, and the highly technical language used to describe emerging technologies and evolving risks makes this a challenging area. And many companies are relying more and more on technology to get ahead, often prompting substantial changes in how they operate. All of these factors can make the board’s IT oversight responsibility appear harder than it is.

Our research, which included surveying 860 public company directors, indicates many board members are uncomfortable with overseeing their company’s IT. Although many directors want to better comprehend the risks and opportunities related to IT, they sometimes don’t have an adequate understanding of the subject to be truly effective in their oversight roles. In addition, boards often lack a well-defined process that satisfies their needs in this area. On the whole, this confluence of factors creates an “IT confidence gap” for many board members.

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Source: The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

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