Updated: Techies know how important IT is to a company’s success — what IT pro would ever say that IT doesn’t matter? But new research indicates that the boards of directors that are supposed to guide corporate strategies, are starting to get that message as well.

A survey of 175 board members by Gartner(s it) and Forbes found that improving IT was rated as important as boosting sales in terms of overall priorities.

This is particularly interesting since directors are not a particularly tech-savvy bunch — only 16 percent of directors have any background in IT, according to Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Jorge Lopez.

The takeaway for IT professionals is that they must paint the IT investments they want to make in business terms that the board understands, for example showing how these improvements can cut costs, streamline the supply chain and/or improve the product mix. (In related news,

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