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Innovation

CFOs driving the IT spending bus, study says

Chief financial officers are increasingly becoming the lead decision maker for technology investments, according to a study by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation.Here's a look at some of the findings from the Gartner-FERF study:42 percent of IT organizations report to the CFO;53 percent of CFOs want control of the IT organization;33 percent of IT organizations report to the CEO;16 percent to the chief operating officer;And 9 percent to other officers.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Chief financial officers are increasingly becoming the lead decision maker for technology investments, according to a study by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation.

Here's a look at some of the findings from the Gartner-FERF study:

  • 42 percent of IT organizations report to the CFO;
  • 53 percent of CFOs want control of the IT organization;
  • 33 percent of IT organizations report to the CEO;
  • 16 percent to the chief operating officer;
  • And 9 percent to other officers.

Given that breakdown, it's not surprising that 75 percent of companies say the CFO has a vital role in setting IT investments. Gartner and FERF conclude that more would get done if the CFO and CIO worked together better. In a nutshell, CIOs need to talk business value and real metrics. The study had 482 respondents.

This survey for me is timely. At a roundtable last week, I argued that the CFO would increasingly be determining IT priorities. It's not brain surgery: I'm just following the money and power. However, the downturn put CFOs and CIOs in the same bunker. And things like software as a service, cloud computing and other techniques were examined as ways to save money.

My working theory is that the software as a service, consolidation and virtualization won't be going back into the bottle. CFOs, drawn to these technologies because they can shift capital expenses to operating expenses and save money on labor and servers, aren't going to suddenly go back big ERP upgrades and the old ways of working IT just because the economy improves.

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