Think the CFO likes the IT department's work? Think again

Finance chiefs taking a dim view of technology...
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

Finance chiefs taking a dim view of technology...


The CIO is losing influence as organisations become dissatisfied with the IT departmentPhoto: Shutterstock

CFOs may be taking an increasingly prominent role in technology strategy in the enterprise, but it seems that finance chiefs have a less than rose-tinted view of the IT department.

Only 32 per cent of CFOs said they see the CIO as a strategic partner and 70 per cent do not believe IT is providing business benefits, according to research by Gartner, the Financial Executives Research Foundation and Financial Executives International.

Of the finance execs surveyed, only eight per cent view IT as a key contributor to the organisation's competitive position and only four per cent saw it as 'transformational'.

It is this dissatisfaction with the IT department that is causing the CFO to take a more active role in how companies spend their IT budgets, analyst house Gartner said.

Only five per cent of CIOs are currently able to authorise IT investments, while 26 per cent of CFOs have the same privilege, according to the research.

Consequently, the analyst recommends IT departments work harder at getting their finance chiefs on side.

"Due to the increased involvement of CFOs and senior financial executives, organisations must make it a priority to better educate decision-makers," John Van Decker, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement.

"IT organisations must understand the CFO's views of technology investment decisions and must work toward developing a relationship with the CFO that resembles a business partnership," he said in a statement.

"This will enable the business to become more agile. This flexibility will help organisations select best practices that could make business processes work better, thereby providing better business insight," he added.

The analyst house also reported that business intelligence is viewed as the highest IT priority by senior financial executives, followed by business applications, such as enterprise resource planning and integrated financial management solutions.

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