SLID to improve Board IT governance practices | Sunday Observer

SLID to improve Board IT governance practices

19 March, 2023
Panellists at the event
Panellists at the event

Not having adequate knowledge of ICT at the Board-level increases business IT risks and due to this many companies rely on senior ICT management personnel such as CIOs/CTOs to support board-level IT governance.

This was revealed at the first Sri Lanka Survey Report on Board IT Governance - 2022 launched by the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) to an audience of over 100 top corporate Board Directors at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel last week.

In Sri Lanka, based on survey participants, the Banking and Financial Services, Technology and Engineering, and FMCG industries lead the way in IT Governance, in that order.

SLID Chairman Faizal Salieh emphasised the importance of IT Governance as an integral part of overall Enterprise Governance. He said that inadequate participation by Directors in major technology-related decisions results in missed opportunities for optimised strategic and operational technology investments.

Ernst & Young, Sri Lanka (EY) Partner, Arjuna Herath summarised the key findings of the study and put into context the outcomes and recommendations to support a viable Board IT Governance journey for Sri Lankan corporates.

The panellists, Chairman of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Prof. Malik Ranasinghe, Independent Director of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Dr. Kithsiri Manchanayake, PWC Sri Lanka Director Ruvini Fernando, and M.R. Anoop of SAP made the discussion interesting and interactive.

They opined that more robust IT Governance at the Board-level would result in greater accuracy, transparency, and accountability in corporate IT spending.

In her Call to Action, Chiranthi Cooray, lead chair of SLID’s Innovation and Technology Committee, reiterated the importance of Boards leading IT decision-making; and how IT Governance strengthens good stewardship. An interesting perspective communicated was her assertion that Directors leading IT Governance will need to wear various hats at different times to be cheerleaders, champions, evangelists, or redeemers throughout this journey.

SLID plans to execute several learning and promotional initiatives for private and public sector companies aimed at improving Board IT Governance practices.

SLID collaborated with EY as its main technical partner. The survey was designed, conducted, and analysed under the expert guidance of Prof. Jennifer Jewer of Memorial University, Canada, Prof. Ken McKay of the University of Waterloo, Canada and Prof. Tejpavan Gandhok of Jindal Global Business School, India and with the assistance of EY Global Delivery Services.

The Ministry of Finance, the Colombo Stock Exchange, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka assisted in conducting the survey.