CXO

Hey IT: CFOs don't seem to like you very much

A recent Gartner-sponsored survey indicates that most CFOs are not happy with the IT departments in their company.

I feel like I'm going to tip off a bunch of workplace brawls between IT pros and the CFOs of their companies, but here goes. A recent survey (sponsored by Gartner in conjunction with Financial Executives International) of survey of 344 CFOs at North American companies involved in manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, energy, transportation and other fields seems to indicate that CFOs don't think much of the information technology in their companies and the people who provide it. Here are some of the key findings by the survey:

  • Only 25% see the CIO as a key player in determining the business strategy.
  • Less than a quarter of the CFOs felt the IT department delivers the technology innovation needed by the business.
  • Only 18% of the CFOs said they thought "our IT service levels meet or exceed business expectations."

This attitude could be a little scary considering that more and more IT departments are reporting to the CFO. I'm not sure why. Tech is a high expenditure for a company but so is HR, and you don't see many HR departments reporting up through Finance. In the low-budget film that runs only in my head, I see the CEO, whose eyes glaze over when he's talking to the CIO, deciding it's a good idea that the CIO report to the CFO (who also makes his eyes glaze over in conversation).

The problem is CFOs are focused on the bottom line and may not see the benefit of a technology whose benefit won't be realized past the current fiscal year. What's it like at your company?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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