IT Focus Area: strategy
January 3, 2013
The Value of the CFO-CIO Partnership: 4 Tips for CFOs
Transformational technologies (e.g., virtualization, cloud, mobility and convergence) are changing the face of business, making it more important than ever for CFOs to collaborate with CIOs to identify strategic value IT brings to the enterprise and how to best use it.
Here are four tips to help CFOs build better collaboration with CIOs.
1. Talk strategy, not tactics.
Help the CIO stay focused on how technology helps meet overall strategic corporate objectives in the areas of business intelligence, innovation and business performance, rather than always talking about how IT is working on fixing the latest technology failures.
2. Stay current on technology trends.
Technology is pervasive and constantly changing. It is important to keep up to date, as much as possible, on the latest technology and business trends. CFOs stand to gain from increasing their knowledge by learning how technology can provide a competitive advantage for the business. By better understanding how IT impacts the business, CFOs can ask better questions about technology. Ask your CIO to recommend their favorite technology publications, and use the CIO to better educate yourself on IT. Challenge your industry peers on the return they are getting on their technology investment.
3. Lead cross-functional collaboration.
Finance and IT enable every business function in the organization. And yet these leaders are often not consulted early enough in the planning process. Champion cross-functional teaming that promotes participation between business units, especially between the business and IT. Effective planning up front leads to better outcomes and better overall returns. It is important to note that this level of inter-departmental cooperation seldom succeeds without an executive sponsor.
4. Look to your CIO to help you solve financial problems.
If you have to cut the overall company operating budget by a certain amount, contact the departments with the biggest spend first (IT is usually number one on the list). Ask your CIO: what can the company and IT do differently?
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