5 Ways CFO and CIO Collaboration Can Benefit the Business

As reported by Robert Half Management Resources

With technology increasingly integral to the operation of the finance function — and the business, in general — chief financial officers and chief information officers find they’re seeing a lot more of each other lately. A survey by Robert Half Management Resources and Robert Half Technology found that more than half (51 percent) of CFOs collaborate more often with their company’s CIO today versus three years ago.

Greater interaction between CFOs and CIOs can generate positive outcomes for the business in many ways. Here are just five:

1. More strategic decision-making around IT investments

Technology initiatives, from cloud migrations to business systems upgrades, affect nearly every business unit within organizations today. When the CFO and CIO engage early in IT project planning, it can lead to better alignment between finance and IT agendas.

Ultimately, CFO and CIO collaboration can pave the way for smoother integration of new systems and processes and help ensure the business realizes value from its IT investments in the long term.

2. Better management of IT risks

Information security, data privacy and cybersecurity issues are top of mind for both CFOs and CIOs. By maintaining an open line of communication about these business-critical topics, CFOs gain more insight into how IT is helping the organization to address IT risks and why certain investments are needed to protect data and users. CIOs, meanwhile, can stay apprised of compliance mandates and other business demands that may impact how the organization addresses IT security and risks.

3. Constructive discussions about BCM

Business continuity management (BCM) planning is a topic where CIOs and CFOs are known to butt heads. The typical scenario: CIOs lay out all the investments the business should make to ensure it can recover critical IT assets in the event of a disaster. CFOs push back and say the business can’t justify that type of spending on something that may or may not happen.

This stalemate is often the result of CIOs not talking about BCM in business terms and CFOs not fully understanding the value of BCM planning for IT. More frequent collaboration between CFOs and CIOs is likely to lead to more productive discussions about the costs and benefits of BCM planning from both an IT and business perspective.

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