CFO's the power behind the IT budget


CFO's the power behind the IT budget

Microscope contributor

Resellers should be aware who holds the purse strings as dissatisfaction with the business benefits of IT lead to change in ownership of purchasing decisions, writes Linda Endersby.

the days of the IT director or chief information officer (CIO) being the person the channel needs to get in front of to secure an order seem to have gone forever with the power shifting towards the finance department.

A joint study by Gartner, Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) and the Committee of Finance & IT of Financial Executives International revealed that CFOs have an increased role in IT investment with the finance officer alone authorizing 26% of all IT investment with CIOs only getting the sign-off on 5%.

The survey showed that 42% of IT organizations report directly to the CFO with only 33% reporting direct to CEO.

"This high level of reporting to the CFO, as well as their influence in technology investments, demonstrates the need for companies to ensure that their CFO is educated on technology, and underscores just how critical it is that the CIO and CFO have a common understanding on how to leverage organisation technology," said John Van Decker, research vice president at Gartner.

Only 30% of organizations said that IT truly fulfills its mission meaning that 70% do not believe that IT is helping to fully realize business benefits.

When asked about guidelines used to assess investments 72% said they would invest where they see a competitive advantage driven by IT with Business Intelligence and Business Applications the highest investment priorities.

"In terms of enterprise technology, organisations need to focus on better enabling business processes, led by technology initiatives," said Bill Sinnett, director of research at FERF."Given some of this dissatisfaction, CFOs are taking a more active role in controlling a greater share of the organisation's IT investments."

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