CFOs are not expected to be IT experts.
CFOs are expected, however, to know all aspects of the business, and use available information, internally and externally, to the company’s best advantage.
To be “all knowledgeable”, CFOs not only need access to the data, but more importantly, have the right information gleaned from that data on a timely basis to be able to help their company make the best decisions possible.
Since I started my working career over 20 years ago, the information landscape has certainly changed quite drastically, in a good way, to benefit those who are willing to make the right investments in time and money to get the information they need.
The challenge CFOs face today can be defined as having access to too much data and not enough information. Regular blog readers know that I put a lot of emphasis for CFO Success on their ability to manage their relationships (See Road Map to Successful CFO Relationships). When it comes to relationships they have with IT (or the CIO), CFOs face a continuous challenge.
In smaller companies, the CFO is ultimately responsible for IT, either directly, or by having IT report to him or her. When this is the case, the relationship is less of the issue, but making appropriate IT decisions can be.
In larger companies, the CFO works with the CIO/IT to make sure that they have access to the data as well as being able to get decision capable information when needed.
One thing is for certain. The CFO of today can no longer ignore IT as they may have done 20 years ago (or even 10). Today’s CFO must have access to the information they need to be able to help their business make the best decisions.
CFOs today need to be able to understand:
1. The current and ongoing changes affecting Information Technology,
2. How these changes affect where, when and how they access their information.
3. The impact of these changes on the budgets and expenditures for IT and other departments.
4. The value that these changes are supposed to bring, and how to ask the right questions to ensure the promised value is actually delivered.
As CFO, what do you need to understand better when it comes to information, and the technology that provides it?
Would you like to receive Samuel’s CFO Blog directly in your email when he has a new blog? Click the SIGN ME UP! button on the right.