CFO and CIO: Cant We All Just Get Along?By Faisal Hoque | Posted 2008-05-23 Email Print
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Finding common strategic ground between technology and the business proves paramount to being a market leader.
Money makes the world go 'round. Score one: CFO.
Technology moves the money 'round. Score one: CIO.
Earning money is the point of business. Money is earned with technology. Score one each.
One would think that sooner or later these two chief officers would discover their common ground and mutual interests, and that stories about the “natural rift” between them would disappear from the pages of magazines.
Here's a starting point: both want a “seat at the table.” Both want to escape their image as technicians of arcane minutia and become players in the strategy game. Among all those desiring these things, however, CFOs and CIOs have not only the enterprise-wide view necessary to think strategically, but also the tools – money and technology – to act strategically.
CIOs, of course, have always had to justify their schemes and dreams in terms of money, no more so than in times of economic weakness such as we are now facing. And CFOs are more in need of technology than ever. The new reporting requirements, the need for accurate, timely and consistent information, the growing complexities of working with partners outside of the firm, and the new emphasis on innovation – most often driven by and empowered by technology – all make getting the technology right imperative.
In a report last year on the evolving role of the CFO, KPMG concluded that successful CFO leadership has eight components. Interestingly, many involve technology indirectly and others directly:
• Efficient processes and systems so finance can spend less time gathering data and performing basic ‘number crunching’ tasks and more time on implementing transformation and other strategic initiatives.
• Better information for decision-making processes to provide greater transparency into business performance and risk.
• Up-to-date, integrated IT systems that drive better performance and risk management through high-volume routine processes.
These conclusions mirror our own findings that has shown a link between maturity in technology management and enterprise-wide financial performance. Companies that have converged the management of their business and technology consistently lead their industry peers in revenue growth, earnings per share growth, and returns on equity, assets and investments.