Modern Boardroom Priorities: Navigating Software, Code, and IT for Business Success

The Boardroom has long been the focal point of most businesses where all key decisions are made. Having spent the last 15 years sat within boardrooms I have experienced first hand how these ‘traditional’ agendas have evolved, both through necessity in changes of roles within businesses, but also through external changes impacting organisations.

Traditionally, boardroom agendas have focused on financial performance, strategic planning, HR and competitive threats. Discussions often centered around revenue growth, market expansion, cost control, and shareholder value, with IT and software considerations often taking a backseat. However, with the rapid advancement of technology (in particular AI) and its integral role in nearly every aspect of business operations, this dynamic has significantly shifted.

Today, boardrooms must prioritize technology-driven issues such as cybersecurity, data privacy, digital compliance, and IT assets on the balance sheet. The reliance on technology to drive innovation, enhance operational efficiency, and maintain competitive advantage has necessitated a more comprehensive and informed approach to software, code, and IT management at the highest levels of leadership.

This step-change in priorities underscores the need for board members to expand their expertise and engage more deeply with technological strategies to ensure the long-term success and security of their organizations. It’s no longer acceptable to just leave everything in the hands of your IT department or external IT partner, key decisions around security, investment, priorities and future planning have to happen at Boardroom level, and as such Board members from every department need to be equipped with the tools and knowledge to take part in these discussions.

In the following article I aim to discuss not just the ‘why’ but also the ‘how’ Boardrooms can make their IT and Software a key talking point on their Board agenda and empower their members to feel included and have an opinion.

Boardroom Priorities; Software, Code and IT

1) Make Application & Software Security a Top Priority

First and foremost this is about having it on the Agenda. Whether you are a small start-up, or a large enterprise organisation, the first item under IT should be an update on your current suite of digital assets and their respective security status. 

If we imagine an organisation that’s running a few websites, a customer portal, a mobile app and maybe some internal software that helps with operational efficiencies, you might have more than 10 individual code repositories, all of which are being accessed and maintained by a team of developers and which will be subject to external updates from open-source libraries or potential breaches in coding standards. 

Therefore it is paramount that you, as a board, are able to not only see how many digital assets sit within your organisation, but also understand the current security risk associated with them. Only by understanding this are you able to direct focus to areas of the business that require attention. 

A simple agenda surrounding Application & Software Security would be;

  • Review number of applications and software within the organisation and what their role is
  • Simple scoring system of current security risks associated with each application or piece of software.
  • Recommended priorities to be addressed
  • Longer term proactive security measures that could be implemented.

By doing this you will ensure that your businesses Software and Applications are at the forefront of every board members mind and can be a discussion point for internal priorities and policies.

2) Ensure you understand your Compliance and Regulatory Requirements

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter which industry vertical you are in these days, if your business deals with any form of customer, transactional or financial data then you need to be aware of what your compliance and regulartory requirements are. Regulations such as GDPR, SOC2, and ISO27001 impose stringent requirements on how businesses handle data, ensure privacy, and maintain transparency in their operations. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties, legal ramifications, and damage to a company’s reputation.

Another area of compliance arises within your actual software development. It is common practice for most developers to use snippets or entire packages of code from open-source libraries, but what if that code comes with a license? Suddenly, your company is responsible for complying with that license, which could range from crediting the original author to making parts of your own code open-source.

That’s where the real risks and compliance issues can arise. While the use of open-source software can expedite development and reduce costs, it’s the licences and security that accompany the open-source software that can create issues further down the line if they are not managed properly. 

Therefore, understanding and adhering to these regulations and licences is essential for safeguarding your business against potential risks. Utilizing advanced tools and practices, such as automated open-source licence detection services, compliance monitoring, regular audits, and comprehensive documentation, can help ensure ongoing compliance. These measures not only mitigate risks but also demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices and regulatory adherence, fostering trust among stakeholders and customers. By prioritizing compliance, businesses can navigate the complex regulatory environment effectively and know that they have done everything required of them as a Board.

3) Be aware of your Software Development and Maintenance output

Of course within the Boardroom you would expect your IT representative, whether thats a CTO, IT Director, Or COO, to have a full understanding of the businesses current development roadmap and issues being worked on. However what’s key for a Boardroom to understand is where the budget is being spent and if it needs evaluating. For instance you may have your development budgets split into different buckets, one for Maintenance and Security, one for Support and another for New features. Therefore it’s important for the Boardroom to not only understand those buckets, but also to understand the budget being allocated and current status of each workstream. This really all boils down to 3 concepts a Boardroom needs to understand. 

  • Understanding the software development lifecycle.
  • Importance of regular code reviews and audits.
  • Implementing Strategies for maintaining and updating software.

This is where transparent reporting comes into play, for example it might be that the organisation has been focussed on delivering new functionality within their software so time spent on security and maintenance has reduced. But what if over this period there have been new security threats arise that could impact your business? You would want to have that information in your Board pack and highlighted as an agenda point – Do we pause new development to address known security issues, or continue as the new threats aren’t deemed critical?

By having simple, yet powerful data available in easy to understand reports for non-technical Board members, it ultimately allows highly technical strategic discussions to take place.

The Solution: Implement tools to enhance your Communication and Collaboration with IT

Effective communication and collaboration between the board and IT teams are critical for aligning technological initiatives with business objectives. But as we’ve already noted, Application and Software development is a complex world which can be hard for many business leaders to fully understand. 

That’s why implementing tools to bridge this gap is essential, and that’s where The Code Registry comes in. Our platform provides the comprehensive visibility into the software development process that a CTO or development team need, while also offering easy-to-understand reports and insights that demystify technical details for non-technical leaders.

By fostering transparency and regular updates, The Code Registry ensures that board members stay informed about project progress, potential risks, and key performance metrics while also allowing the IT function to provide answers and justification for planned tasks. This enhanced communication streamlines decision-making, enables timely interventions, and promotes a culture of collaboration. With our tools, business leaders can confidently engage with IT teams, ensuring that strategic goals are met and that the organization remains agile and responsive to technological advancements.

This not only improves operational efficiency but also strengthens the overall governance framework, driving the business toward sustained success.

Stay On-Top of Future Trends and Innovations within Technology

Lastly, in order to make sure you and your board remain at the forefront of AI and software development cycles, simply join The Code Registry’s email list or follow us on LinkedIn and let us take care of the research for you. 

Our dedicated team have made it their mission to continually monitor the world of software development and AI with a business lens, so you never miss important new trends or opportunities. 

Want to Learn More?

Our simple sign-up process takes less than 5 minutes, once we’ve replicated your code and created your dedicated IP Code Vault you’ll be able to start understanding more about your code immediately! Why not book a non obligation demo today to see our platform in action.