Is your board of directors tech savvy?

tech savvy board members

With practically all aspects of business being affected by technology, it is vital to have tech experts in leadership positions and on your association board. However, leaders and board members typically are not tech savvy – and the domino effect from that can be detrimental.

Why do boards lack technology experts?

Did you know that barely 5 percent of boards have a dedicated technology committee? Board members are typically senior members with credibility and industry expertise. And while tech experts are of all ages, younger generations have a strong understanding on newer technologies that senior members often find difficult to grasp.

So, it’s time to shake up the board and incorporate fresh talent with experienced senior members. Board members need to be willing to take advice and learn from those less experienced.

What problems does a lack of tech knowledge on a board cause?

Even though boards have the technology available to them, many use outdated digital products. Boards become comfortable using what they know – and without the influence of younger generations pushing the use of modern tech, change is unlikely to occur.

Take for example the rise of social media. What was once thought of as a solely social platform has become one of the main areas of focus for business marketing and advertising.

To millennials, the thought of incorporating social media into day-to-day business is a no-brainer. For a baby boomer board member, the thought of social media in the workplace is absurd. That is, until they hear the facts: Did you know that compared to outbound marketing, social media marketing has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate?

Having a tech savvy board is invaluable because technology is a major part of all aspects of business. When a board is not tech savvy, they may fail to move forward. They may lose potential customers. Their revenues may decrease. Their data may be wasted. And they will become irrelevant.

Why do boards need to be tech savvy?

Bruce Nolop lists five issues CEOs currently face: talent, organization, growth, risk and governance. While technology isn’t specifically listed, technology is a major part of each of the different issues. Nolop lists cybersecurity threats, disruptive technologies and social media exposures as examples of risk, for example. Therefore, addressing these issues means understanding the technologies involved.

For boards to be effective, tech knowledge is a must. But, that doesn’t mean all boards must have an expert knowledge of all technologies – that’s not possible. Boards don’t need to understand how it works; they just need to know what it does so that they can make an informed, accurate decision.

Boards without a tech expert can even be successful by becoming educated on the technologies used. “You don’t have to be the one who creates the new product but you absolutely need to be part of the conversation,” said Layla Masri, president of Bean Creative.

Boards are also expected to be guides; it’s assumed that they know what is best and how to get us there. However, most everyone knows that the future involves technology and in many cases, focuses on it. So, shouldn’t the boards be guiding everyone into the newest technologies?

What can boards do to make tech savvy decisions?

Over the past six years, companies with tech-focused board members have increased from 10 to 17 percent, according to Deloitte. It is obvious that tech expertise is needed in decision making; tech savvy boards will soon be the norm.

Whether or not they have tech experts on the board, board members need to make their decisions with technology in mind. They must be willing to step outside their comfort zone and take risks. Some organizations are able to stay on top of the latest up-and-coming technologies on their own, but others need outside help.

MultiView helps associations and organizations become more tech savvy with products and services like targeted or content marketing campaigns as well as data analytics and detailed reporting. Communication is vital to any organization and MultiView helps you reach your target audience where they are – online. With everything from e-newsletters and e-blasts to targeted advertisements, MultiView will help create your tech savvy strategy.  Contact us today!

MultiView Team Expert Danielle Manley

Danielle Manley

Assistant Executive Editor

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