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CFOs: The power behind IT's throne

More IT departments are reporting to the head of finance than any other exec...
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Written by Jo Best on

More IT departments are reporting to the head of finance than any other exec...

CIOs may be the driving force of the IT department but when it comes to making tech-related decisions, it's the CFO that wields the real power.

According to a survey by analyst house Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation, more IT departments report to the CFO than to any other exec.

The North America-focused research found 42 per cent of IT departments reporting to the head of finance, compared to 33 per cent who report to the CEO, 16 per cent to the COO, two per cent to a chief administrative officer and seven per cent to another exec.

However, while 42 per cent of IT departments report to the CFO, more heads of finance believe they should head up the tech function - 53 per cent said it's their preferred reporting arrangement.

IT departments reporting to CFOs

More IT departments report to the CFO than to any other exec
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

John Van Decker, research VP at Gartner, said the tendency for CFOs to head up the IT department is only set to increase.

"To a certain extent we can expect more IT organisations reporting into finance in time... I think [the research] shows it is a trend, a trend that will continue - many IT organisations were rolled into the finance organisation as a result of managing costs through the recent recession," he said.

Whether CFOs are the de facto head of the IT or not, the vast majority still have an important stake in deciding where cash is spent when it comes to technology.

Gartner found that for 75 per cent of companies, CFOs have "a vital role in determining IT investment" while 34 per cent of finance chiefs believe they are the main decision maker when it comes to IT.

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