Why CIOs Should Join Customer Advisory Boards

Today’s business environment demands that CIOs actively engage with their peers and vendors if they have any hope of staying on the cutting edge of technology innovation. Tom Greene discusses for CIO Insight the three large benefits that can be reaped from serving on a customer advisory board:

  1. The ability to influence strategy
  2. Easy access to peers
  3. Gaining a fresh perspective

Building a Diversity of Ideas

Sitting on an advisory board allows for CIOs to voice their opinions and perspectives in regards to the vendor’s strategy. Additionally, having a collective group of CIOs from all different industries together in one room can really inspire some creativity. When CIOs are confined to their own company, they develop limited perspectives, but being on a board spices up these perspectives and inspires greater thinking. There is such diversity and different ways of thinking in one room. Having the vendor and customer perspectives also helps to have a better understanding of market trends. Perhaps a CIO is looking at a trend differently and the combination of different ideas sparks innovation that will light up the business world.

When it comes to preparing for an advisory board meeting, establishing an agenda beforehand will help to focus the direction of conversation. A great way to handle this is to have a third-party compose a list of topics to cover that are of value to the members, and the members are granted the option to suggest something that is of importance to them beforehand. Having all this leg work done allows for the meeting itself to be focused and spawn the best ideas.

The board itself needs to understand digital disruption to its fullest and be willing and able to tackle the problems it may present.

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