By Jim Wong, CPA | August 20, 2014


Why a Close Connection Between Finance and Information Technology is Key.

“90 percent of finance executives agree that better use of IT will improve business performance…and as many as 84 percent saw it as necessary to stay competitive.” – CFO.com

In today’s ever-evolving digital age, it has become imperative for Chief Financial Officers to keep close ties with the technology functions of their businesses. From the executive-level down, all IT individuals and the systems they manage impact processes, strategy and even the bottom line. In essence, IT has truly become the lifeline of a company, no matter the industry. CFOs are moving to better align themselves with this change.

CFO.com recently released an e-book, Becoming a Strategic Partner with IT, which discusses in great detail the reasons CFOs should and need to build a strong dynamic with their IT counterparts while better understanding the systems and technology.

Now more than ever, this close relationship is crucial for company growth and success.

Here are a few of the highlights from the e-book:

When finance and technology align, better systems result.
Simply having the latest and greatest technologies in your company doesn’t necessarily translate to you hitting the mark of success. It’s important to understand that using the information effectively and aligning the finance functions with that of IT translates into more valuable insights and better systems as a result. When CFOs receive sophisticated analytics and other important data from their technology counterparts, they can then focus on other higher-level initiatives including strategy and improving processes.

Understanding cloud computing means understanding your business.
Fewer than half of the CFOs surveyed for the e-book believes that cloud computing will replace IT hardware systems or effectively control IT costs. Mostly, CFOs either have a lack of understanding or have doubts that IT systems can essentially be regulated solely by the cloud. In order to get a realization of the benefits that the cloud can offer, including 24/7 access to information, mobile abilities, harnessing big data and more, CFOs must understand that these improvements are critical for on-demand information and are essential for staying competitive.

Successful technology investments equals company growth and collaboration.
“With cloud, mobility, big data and consumerization, companies are in even greater need of technology talent (in the 2010s) than they were in the late 1990s, and that talent is in even shorter supply.” The idea of a “blended executive,” one who has both IT excellence and business savvy, is rare to find – and expensive. However, in order to foster stronger bonds between finance and IT departments, it may be worth the time and money. If that’s not realistic, however, you can nurture such unicorn-professionals from within the company. Create a strategy employing your CIO and HR head that will allow for a training program that rotates IT professionals in and out of other functions of the company. This can further build the relationship between the finance and IT functions resulting in added value.

Stayed tuned for A Brilliant™ Blog – Check In With Jim’s Building Bonds: CFOs Gain Value from IT Counterparts (Part 2) coming soon!

What are other ways that CFOs can build value by partnering with the IT function? Comment below and let us know!


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