CIOs must work with directors and CEOs if they are to drive growth opportunities from the Internet of Things, cloud computing and other disruptive technologies.
A study by Advanced 365, a UK based IT management firm, highlights the need for CIOs to be included in board level decision making and for senior executives to enhance their technical knowledge.
Otherwise they are "likely to be left behind by their competitors", according to the report.
Neil Cross, managing director of Advanced 365, said: "Technology now influences every area of business but some organisations are only using a fraction of its potential to drive business vision and strategy forwards."
"To bridge this gulf, company boards must work more closely with their CIOs to identify the solutions that can transform their business – now and in the future."
The research coincides with a report by McKinsey Global Institute, which predicts that disruptive technologies, including 3D printing and the IoT, could contribute between $165 trillion and $276 trillion to the global economy by 2025.
Cross said: "More businesses are realising that CIOs hold the key to driving innovation and supporting board-level decision making to turn vision into reality. In contrast, boards that sleepwalk through technological advances are likely to get left behind by their competitors."
The report also includes research by Accenture, which revealed that while 93% of senior US and European executives regard their company’s long-term success to be dependent on the ability to innovate, only one in five said their innovation strategy is delivering a ‘competitive advantage’.
Cross added: "Developing an integrated business and IT strategy requires more effective communication between CIOs and board members. The role of the CIO is evolving rapidly as they are asked to think about business strategy as well as day to day operations to ensure sustainable growth."