NACD and Oliver Wyman Unveil Keys to Overcoming IT Governance Dilemma

White Paper Provides Roadmap for Corporate Boards and Executives to Assess and Discuss IT Risk

Mar 23, 2011, 10:03 ET from National Association of Corporate Directors

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As technology becomes more intertwined with the corporate enterprise and business strategy, corporate boards have had to step-in and provide greater oversight of the various systems and implementations.  This, however, presents a challenge to boardroom leaders who oversee the management of risks associated with technology -- historically a management prerogative.

Taming Information Technology Risks: A New Framework for Boards of Directors, a new white paper by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, highlights many of the issues and red flags boards should look for when considering information technology (IT) risk. It also outlines the six questions boards should ask about IT risk.

"Technology has become an absolute necessity to do business these days. Nearly every aspect of modern corporations relies, in some way, on the technological systems supporting it," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD. "In some cases, these powerful systems provide the competitive edge to outperform industry peers. In other instances, they can be the Achilles' heel."

In a survey conducted by NACD in conjunction with Oliver Wyman, 47% of the more than 200 corporate board directors who responded were not satisfied with the ability of their board to provide sufficient oversight of IT risk. The survey also indicated one major reason for this deficiency; there is insufficient IT expertise at the board level.

Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents also indicated that the most effective approach to improving board IT risk oversight was to increase the frequency and detail of communications about IT from management.

"The many aspects of technology can quickly become overwhelming and confusing, especially when IT is not someone's full-time job. Management and boards need an organized method to convey each aspect in a meaningful and effective way," said Jonathan Cohn, partner at Oliver Wyman. "We developed a Framework for IT Risk that divides the aspects of IT risk into four categories: competitive risks, execution risks, portfolio risks, and service & security risks."

To download the new IT white paper, Taming Information Technology Risks: A New Framework for Boards of Directors, contact NACD at or 202-775-0509 or visit

About NACD

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization delivering the information and insights that corporate board members need to confidently confront complex business challenges and enhance shareowner value. With more than 11,000 members, NACD advances exemplary board leadership. NACD is focused on creating more effective and efficient boards through director-led education and peer courses to share ideas and leading practices based on more than 30 years of primary research. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit To join, please contact Kelly Dodd at or 202-380-1891.

About Oliver Wyman

With offices in 50+ cities across 25 countries, Oliver Wyman is an international management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, organizational transformation, and leadership development. The firm's 3,000 professionals help clients optimize their businesses, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC). For more information, visit

Media Contacts: Henry Stoever, Director of Marketing National Association of Corporate Directors 202.775.0509 and Elisabeth Egan Oliver Wyman 617.424.3721 and

SOURCE National Association of Corporate Directors