Infrastructure Economics: What IT Leaders Can Learn from the CFO Organization (and Vice Versa)

As businesses transform their organisations to meet the demands of a hypercompetitive digital economy, one of the more impactful changes is the blurring of organisational lines that formerly defined business functions. Today, all employees take ownership in achieving business goals; and decision makers, representing diverse points of view, are likely to have a say in investments that impact achievement of those goals.

A key example is the expanded purview of the IT organisation. IT organisations that once focused primarily on asset management now take responsibility for achieving strategic business goals. At the same time, line-ofbusiness employees have greater influence over technology decisions and purchases. In a 2014 Frost & Sullivan global survey, 63% of line-of-business managers said at least some technology spend comes from their own (nonIT) budgets.

Wielding the most influence over technology investments is the organisation that holds responsibility for the company’s finances: the office of the CFO. Leaders in the CFO organisation not only utilize IT services to run their operations, but serve as stewards and drivers of company financial health. As the IT organisation makes important decisions regarding investments that will support achievement of business goals, the CFO’s organisation is likely to be an important partner and advocate. For that reason, it is important for IT and finance leaders to fully understand one another, to “speak the samelanguage,” so they can come to a determination as to which investments are best for the business.