The CFO/CIO relationship is changing-whether you are ready for it to or not. Marcus Boyle explains how the increased importance of information access and the amount of analytics available has made the CFO and CIO more symbiotic than in the past. In fact, CFOs have become so dependent on the amount of financial data available through IT advances that Boyle raises the question about who controls the data:
Then, there is also a matter of control. In many companies, control over corporate data is unclear — some see CIOs as responsible for data management given it resides in corporate IT systems. Others see the stewardship of data being the explicit domain of business users. But the issues of data ownership and control have increasingly become a source of frustration for finance in its quest for data to enhance decision making. In this quest, however, it is the CFO who is in a logical position to oversee the techniques to make business decisions. Informed by information and analytics, CFOs can make improved decisions on everything from the correct level of capital spending to the alignment of incentives.
Instead of bickering about who owns the data, however, Boyle suggest alignment as an enterprise. If the CFO and the CIO work together to help the entire business, they will have more of an impact within the organization. There are three ways that the two officers can help move along this alignment:
- Align the business
- Develop a shared language
- Encourage job rotation (IT execs to business rotations, business execs to IT rotations)