Canadian Underwriter

Board of directors cite lack of sufficient oversight of IT risk: Oliver Wyman survey

March 25, 2011   by Canadian Underwriter

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Nearly half of corporate board directors are not satisfied with their boards’ ability to provide sufficient oversight of IT risk, according to a joint Oliver Wyman and National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) survey.
Of the more than 200 corporate board directors surveyed, 47% responded they were not satisfied with the ability of their board to provide sufficient oversight of IT risk.
One major reason for this deficiency is insufficient expertise at the board level, noted Oliver Wyman and NACD in a release.
“In some cases, these powerful [IT] systems provide the competitive edge to outperform industry peers. In other instances, they can be the Achilles’ heel.”
Thirty-eight per cent of survey respondents indicated the most effective approach to improving board IT risk oversight was to increase the frequency and detail of communications about IT from management.
“The many aspects of technology can quickly become overwhelming and confusing, especially when IT is not someone’s full-time job,” said Jonathan Cohn, partner at Oliver Wyman. “Management and boards need an organized method to convey each aspect in a meaningful and effective way.”

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