The ins and outs of board level IT management

What do you really need to do to be taken seriously as an IT director?

What do you really need to do to be taken seriously as an IT director?

In today's tough business climate you need the right calibre to make it to the very top as an IT director.

At a recent meeting of Computer Weekly's 500 Club for IT directors, Paul Burfitt, head of global IT at pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, Cathy Holley, IT headhunter at Holley Maxwell, and the attendees came up with guidelines on the ins and outs for demonstrating your mettle.

  • Hands-on control of IT is out. Defining vision, setting targets, identifying priorities and steering towards objectives is in

  • Having a seat on the board is out. Being part of the board is in

  • Discussing IT strategy on the board is out. Discussing business strategy on the board is in

  • Delivering value-for-money IT is out. Ensuring shareholder value via the exploitation of IT is in

  • Denying technical expertise is out. Knowing how IT catalyses business change is in

  • Waiting to be asked for your opinion is out. Having board directors wander by your office to discuss the board meeting agenda before the meeting is in

  • Worrying about your own title is out. Selecting outstanding direct reports so your time is freed up for business strategy is in

  • Worrying about the title of who you report to is out. Knowing that whatever their title they carry clout with the chief executive is in.

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CW500 Club

The Computer Weekly 500 Club, which comprises the UK's top IT decision-makers, meets 10 times a year to discuss key IT management issues. Established in 1993, the club has a reputation for quality discussion, networking and confidentiality. Meetings are free but by invitation to IT directors of larger user organisations.

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