The rise of the QTE in the boardroom.

Author:Finke, David
Position:BOARDS AND TECHNOLOGY - qualified technology executive
 
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The qualified technology executive, that is. It is only a matter of time before having a QTE becomes mandatory on boards.

Technology powers today's global economy. It's hard to imagine a modern business that doesn't rely on technology to serve its customers, transact with partners, and enable employees to work effectively and efficiently.

Leading companies across industries have been focusing on how best to leverage technology to enable digital transformation and unleash the power of big data and analytics to enhance business results. Many have added a chief digital officer to their management ranks and digital directors to their boards. At the same time, the risk of technology failure has never been more acute. Technological and cyber security mishaps have been responsible for a number of recent business catastrophes, such as halting trading on a major exchange, causing a leading retailer to lose the trust of millions of its customers, and exposing confidential communications among the leaders of an entertainment giant.

Oversight of a company's technology infrastructure traditionally has been considered a back office management function that can effectively be handled by a chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO) on the senior management team.

As the need for managing technology risks and opportunities across an enterprise continues to increase, boards need to take a more proactive and informed stance on technology governance. However, the boards of some of the world's largest organizations are not equipped to ask the right questions or make well-informed assessments about the risks and implications of technology across the organization.

Just as companies are required to have audit committee financial experts to provide financial oversight, given the critical role technology plays in an organization, it is only a matter of time before qualified technology experts become mandatory.

Defining the QTE

A qualified technology executive (QTE) is an individual possessing a high degree of current technology-relevant domain experience. She or he provides oversight and guidance on technology matters of crucial importance to the company in the context of the broader business, from the board perspective.

Whether as a standalone QTE who sits on the audit committee or a member of a broader technology committee, a QTE is responsible for vital input on key technology decisions that require board-level attention, asking the right...

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