As a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), effectively demonstrating value to the board is crucial for aligning technology initiatives with the business objectives and gaining support for strategic decision-making. In the London CTOs (LCTOs) community, professionals share their insights on how to showcase the value of technology to the board. In this blog post, we explore their perspectives and strategies for demonstrating value in a boardroom setting.
Bruno Matos Tavares, former VP of Engineering at Funding Circle UK, emphasises the need to recognise the unique priorities of each board, stating, "Every board is different because the weight they put on company direction, risk management, financial oversight, and governance evolves over time." According to Tavares, demonstrating value to the board can be achieved through various means, including business alignment, delivering on key initiatives, financial management, talent management and risk management.
Ken Baxter, CTO of i6 Group, emphasises the importance of understanding the board's expectations. Baxter comments, "For strategic roles, the tech strategy is my defacto starting point to align with the business strategy." He highlights the need to align technology initiatives with long-term business goals, including funding, scaling, and potential exits. Baxter adds that demonstrating the ability to protect the business while setting it up for future success is crucial.
Kayleigh Oliver, founder and CTO of The FOBBS Platform, said on the matter, "What I'd say would be to highlight the business value derived from your technical achievements. This will make it easier for non-technical members to see the progress". Oliver then goes on to recommend supporting results with data and visuals such as graphs to create a shared understanding and a clear picture of value creation.
Oliver Cox, CTO of EBI.AI, when providing input on the topic, highlights the significance of effective communication. Cox states, "I demonstrate value to the board by effectively communicating how our technology strategy and execution result in outcomes that directly align with our business objectives and broader mission." Cox then goes on to develop this further, stating "by highlighting the tangible impact of our work on areas such as growth, efficiency or quality, I showcase the clear and measurable value our technical initiatives bring to the success of the company"
Demonstrating value to the board as a CTO requires a strategic and tailored approach. Insights from the London CTOs community highlight the importance of business alignment, delivering tangible results, financial management, talent management, and risk management.
Effectively communicating the impact of technology on business objectives and showcasing the value created is key. By aligning technology initiatives with long-term business goals and presenting clear evidence of success, CTOs can demonstrate their value and secure support from the board. The shared experiences and strategies from the LCTOs community provide valuable guidance for CTOs navigating the boardroom and showcasing the transformative power of technology.