Many carrier CIOs face the challenge of communicating with their organization’s board of directors. It can be difficult sometimes for CIOs to know just how much communication is enough. It can also be difficult for CIOs to gauge just what their boards want to hear, and how often they want to hear it.

Executive Summary

If boards aren't comfortable with the quantity and quality of information they're getting from their IT leadership, then they're less likely to approve and embrace strategic IT investments, notes X by 2's Frank Petersmark. In this article, Petersmark speaks from his personal experience as the CIO in an effort to help insurance IT leaders overcome the challenges of CIO-board communications.

In my early days as a CIO at a regional carrier, I made the mistake of communicating at too technical a level to the board, and as a result I had an uncomfortable but ultimately valuable conversation with the chairman. He told me something that still sticks with me. His very simple advice was to remember that I was the expert on what I was discussing and the board was not, and that they had confidence that I knew what I was talking about. So just give it to them in lay terms in the most concise way possible, he advised.

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