A Tech-Capable Board.

Author:Rock, Robert H.

In today s digital age, technology has become more important, demanding increasingly more of the board's attention. As one of its key fiduciary responsibilities, a board must ensure that the company can survive and prosper in the digital age. Thus board members must have the requisite digital literacy and technological competency to understand the opportunities and threats posed by technological transformation.

For many years Directors & Boards has provided guidance and thought leadership on the role of the board in the oversight of the company's technology strategy and implementation. Given the increasingly rapid pace of digital disruption, five years ago we devoted an entire issue to "Recruiting the Digital Director." In this issue we focus on how to develop and educate a technology-capable board.

Although best known for our traditional, print publications including Directors & Boards, Family Business, and Private Company Director, MLR Holdings is primarily involved in high-tech through its majority ownership of 451 Research and the Uptime Institute. The former provides business intelligence and market insight to leaders of the digital economy; the latter offers the industry standard for the certification of data centers. Does this association qualify me as a tech savvy director? Absolutely not! I have only a rudimentary understanding of technology.

However, as a director I have participated in many technology-education sessions, and as the chair of nominating committees, I have overseen several searches which placed emphasis on finding directors with technological capability. Sometimes these searches have led us to tech companies in general and to Silicon Valley in specific...

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