Information technology is a game-changer in PE-backed businesses. If you’re not looking at your portfolio companies and utilizing technology to streamline growth and strengthen customer relationships, you’re making a mistake.
Unfortunately, when you look at IT leaders, very few can balance both technical and strategic goals - they are often more of the problem than the solution. Investors are quick to ignore poor tech leadership and prefer to delegate the “IT hassle” to the CFO instead of demanding to hear from IT leaders directly in the boardroom.
Good IT leaders deserve a seat in the boardroom; they are your secret weapon. We call the people who deserve that seat The Top 10%. Why? Because the sad news is, what we constantly hear is that very few of the IT leaders actually belong there.
Those who deserve the seat should embody the following:
- Proactive – Forget CapEx spend on equipment; your IT leader should be focused on providing strategic IT initiatives that enable growth.
- Collaborative – IT is not a silo; technology should be intertwined and relevant in all areas of the business. Find someone who thinks in terms of feature integration.
- Accountable - Accurate budgets and timelines shouldn’t be a distant dream, they should be the norm.
In future posts we will break those requirements down further. Until then, start watching and listening. Are the IT leaders within your portfolio companies anywhere near the top 10%?
If not, you might need to take a hard look at the opportunities you’re squandering.