CFO tops CIO as main IT decision maker in Singapore

Chief financial officers in Singapore have more say over their IT counterparts, with 50 percent of respondents in a survey pointing to these executives as the main IT decision makers in their organization.

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Singapore have more control over their company's IT decisions, compared to their peers in the rest of the world, and should therefore remain update on the latest technology trends. 

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According to survey findings released Tuesday by executive recruitment firm Robert Half, 50 percent of respondents in Singapore pointed to the CFO--not the CIO or CTO--as the primary IT decision maker in their organization. This figure was higher than the global average of 40 percent, and highest among the countries surveyed. The study polled 2,075 CFOs and finance heads in 14 countries, 150 of whom were from Singapore, about their roles in technology decisions. Other nations included Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

In Singapore, though, the finance and IT teams were among the most collaborative. Some 83 percent of respondents noted higher collaboration between these two teams over the last three years, compared to the global average of 61 percent. Some 67 percent said the heightened collaboration led to improve efficiency, while 48 percent said it increased profitability for their company, and 23 percent it helped lower business costs. 

Noting that most companies still regarded IT as a cost to business, Stella Tang, Robert Half's Singapore director, said responsibility for such decisions would then be given to the finance team. "Singapore companies appear to have developed their own approach to making IT decisions, [where] finance has a much greater responsibility for IT decisions based on a more collaborative approach between the finance and IT teams.

"What is clear from the survey is that finance professionals in Singapore need to keep up to date with trends in technology," Tang noted. "The finance leaders of tomorrow need to get a lot more involved in the IT aspects of their company's business if they are to effectively use their decision-making power."

Robert Half CFO survey
(Source: Robert Half, November 2013)