ASAP Talent Services has been a trusted SAP and Information Technology Executive Search Firm for many of the world’s leading companies for over a decade. Our executive search practice has seen an increased demand from clients for services in Cyber Security and Public Board of Directors search needs and we have a proven track record of success in placing Fortune 500 Level CIO and CISO professionals.
The landscape of business challenges faced in 2016 by Public Companies and their Board of Directors is different and ever changing, compared with the board of directors of the 20th century. Public companies are clearly on notice that the SEC means serious business when it comes to corporate data breaches and the threats they pose to investors and stock markets. Furthermore many companies are seeing a huge benefit to a concerted effort to diversify their workforce at all levels including their Public Board of Directors.
Below are 5 key considerations for the 2016 Board of Directors
- Male/Female Diversity
- Cultural Diversity
- Age Diversity
- Chief Information Officer Representation
- Chief Information Security Officer Representation
Many Fortune 500 Public Board of Directors have tried to evolve in the past decade to be more inclusive of women, but women still are underrepresented. Many boards lack in cultural diversity and are comprised many times, mostly of male professionals over the age of 58. While it’s apparent those with such tenure have great experience to help lead a company, it’s also true that there is great benefit in diversity that reflects the employees and consumers of any given company. A diverse board is more likely to engage in vigorous debate to the overall benefit of the company and its shareholders.
Simply having CEO, COO and CFO representation on your board isn’t a great idea either. What about having a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and CIO (Chief Information Officer) on your board? As a recent study by FTI Consulting confirmed, cyber security has become the number one boardroom concern, topping its list of worries in 2016. Because of the significance and future trend of how technology impacts virtually all areas of business and the growing threat of cyber-threats, we also see a growing demand for CIO and CISO representation on Public Boards of Directors. The Chief Information Security Officer role is now among the fastest growing positions in the C-suite. Chief Security Officers are finally being granted long overdue oversight and authority, as corporate leaders begin to recognize that cyber-security is a corporate-wide threat posing enormous risk to their brand. The role of CISO has quickly evolved from that of a Director, IT Security reporting to a CIO in the late 90’s and in the Y2K era.
Today, the CISO often is a peer to the CIO reporting to the CFO or Chief Risk Officer and likely presents to the Board of Directors once per quarter. CISOs now have a much deeper and broader set of interrelated tasks involving risk and governance. In 2016, the CISO does not only defend against breaches – but also is involved in creating crisis management plans and ultimately protecting the value of the company and its brand. A CISO will help the board exercise informed business judgment in evaluating the adequacy of the company’s data security.
Whether your board has a sitting CIO or CISO represented on your Public Board of Directors or the corporate CIO/CISO presents to the board quarterly, it is imperative that their voice be heard. For companies in the retail industry, healthcare industry, financial services industry or any vertical where the company is entrusted with personal and financial consumer data the threat of data breach is very real. When one considers sensitive employee information, retirement and 401K information, I.T. Security really is a huge issue facing all business.
About the Author:
Jeremy Sisemore is President of ASAP Talent Services, one of the leading SAP focused Executive Search Firms in North America. His firm specializes in placing CIO, CISO and other IT Executives including Public Board of Director searches for many of the world’s leading Fortune 500 companies.