Application Optimization Application Performance Application Placement Application Rationalization Data Center Data Center Migration Data Center Strategy Hybrid Data Center Data Center Facilities Financial Leasing Infrastructure Optimization Network Optimization Server Optimization Storage Optimization IT Management C-Suite Collaboration IT Workforce IT Security Big Data Security Cloud Security Data Security Mobile Security Virtual Security Workspace Security IT Strategy Maintenance Managed Services Most Popular Articles Recoverability Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Data Protection & Recovery Management Service Management Sourcing Transformational Technologies Cloud Convergence Mobility Virtualization Workspace Communications & Collaboration End-User Computing
Application Optimization Application Performance Application Placement Application Rationalization Data Center Data Center Migration
Videos SlideShares White Papers Webinars Slideshows Infographics
Stay Connected get our newsletter Subscribe Now
IT FOCUS AREA: C-Suite Collaboration
more in C-Suite Collaboration

Building a Successful CIO-CFO Relationship: 7 Tips for CIOs


Opening the door for collaboration between the chief financial officer (CFO) and the chief information officer (CIO) and forming a more strategic partnership is not always easy. For a successful relationship, CIOs must better demonstrate to CFOs how IT generates value to the enterprise, and how IT can deliver a competitive advantage.

Here are seven tips to keep in mind.

1. Understand your CFO’s view on technology.

Unless the career of a CFO included a stint in IT, it is not likely that the CFO has the same technology knowledge or the same perspective about technology. Knowing how a CFO thinks about technology and their point of reference is important. Help your CFO understand how transformational technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization, mobility, convergence and big data can help advance the business.

2. Know your CFO’s perspective of the business.

A CFO needs to directly associate IT solutions with specific business problems. Funding is available, if the cost of delivering this solution (the investment) aligns with the company’s return on investment (ROI) model.

3. Put technology requests in business terms.

All IT spend, including day-to-day IT operations, should be positioned in terms of business return. For some expenditures, IT will be an enabler; for others, a profit center; and sometimes necessary overhead. Determining why you are asking is important. For example, some CFOs require CIOs to find money in their own budget to meet certain business objectives. If a CIO has discretionary spend in their budget, CFOs appreciate that they can move money around to meet business objectives. In other cases, IT savings go back to the company, helping the CFO meet business objectives.

4. Analyze the business ROI. Be specific in calculating the ROI for the business for an IT investment.

By teaming up with the business, the CIO and the business lead can go to the CFO together to discuss how this certain IT investment will help drive business growth.

5. Calculate the total cost per unit per IT service.

A CIO should know how much IT services cost the business. For example, how much does IT cost per office or per person? When mergers and acquisitions occur, the CIO knows how much IT will cost per new employee.

6. Question every cost—whether traditionally fixed or not.

IT equipment and applications reflect years of major IT infrastructure investments and tie up millions of dollars. That is why it is important to question every IT asset and capability. Explore alternatives. For example:

  • Does every employee need a certain software license?

  • Do you really need those old applications?

  • Does every employee need a computer on their desk?

  • Should the company lease IT assets instead of buy them?

7. Take a hard look at how performance and value are defined by internal business leaders.

Cloud, mobility and consumerization are changing the way IT services are viewed by the business. Metrics for IT services are also changing. Three metrics that are gaining momentum:

  1. Speed and simplicity of internal deployment of IT services relative to the external marketplace

  2. Impact of technology on business results

  3. End-user productivity


[SlideShare] 11 Tips for Building a Winning CIO - CFO Partnership

View more presentations from Forsythe Technology

Leave A Comment

Policy for Comments

Please make sure your comments follow these guidelines:

- Use your real name, not keywords
- No signature links in your comments
- No foul language (please)

Readers are solely responsible for the content of the comments they post here. Comments are subject to the site's terms and conditions of use and do not reflect the opinion or approval of Forsythe Technology. Readers whose comments violate the terms of use may have their comments removed.

You might also like

C-Suite Collaboration
C-Suite Collaboration

Effective CIO-CFO Collaboration: The Power of Two

How the chief information officer (CIO) and chief financial officer (CFO) can overcome differences and partner in strategic collaboration.
C-Suite Collaboration
C-Suite Collaboration

The Value of the CFO-CIO Partnership: 4 Tips for CFOs

How chief financial officers (CFOs) can better collaborate with chief information officers (CIOs).
C-Suite Collaboration
C-Suite Collaboration

What You Should Know About the Emergence of the Chief Digital Officer

Learn how a chief digital officer (CDO) can drive your digital strategy and help you get more value from your data.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter