According to C5 Alliance, boardrooms in Guernsey and Jersey need more technical expertise to ensure that businesses are getting the most out of technology.
“Knowledge of technology is invaluable at board level,” said Marc Lainé, Guernsey Island Manager at C5 Alliance. “In the current marketplace technology is driving innovation more than any other factor. Businesses that harness technology in the right way do things more efficiently, more effectively and more easily than those that don’t: that can make a real difference to their bottom line.
“Despite this there is not enough technological know-how at board level in the Channel Islands. Directors here tend to be extremely capable in their own fields, often law, accountancy, banking and other areas of finance, but they lack experience and understanding of technology and therefore do not take the lead role in driving forward innovation within businesses.”
A recent global survey of corporate directors, conducted by Harvard Business School saw technology listed as the area seen as the biggest weakness at board level. Directors surveyed by the researchers cited it most often as the one area of expertise missing from the boards they sat on.
“The report also showed that technology featured rarely as the major challenge facing those businesses,” said Mr Lainé. “This shows that boards are not recognising the critical nature of technology for business. If more directors with technology expertise were operating at board level, this would feature more prominently. To survive in the digital age, a board should have at least one director with the right technical expertise,” he said.
Mr Lainé also stressed that having this knowledge at board level was not just about avoiding mis-steps and overspends on technology.
“Fundamentally, the leaders of any business need to drive it forward in all areas, encouraging innovation and generating new revenue streams. Directors should be ensuring that exploiting technology is at the top of the agenda, but too often, without the relevant expertise, it is left on the sidelines. If the islands are to continue to compete on the global stage we will need our businesses to embrace technology and ensure they are realising its potential.”
Category: Finance & Business