Our Insider Business Club broadcast live from the Softworld Accounting &
Finance exhibition where expert panellists discussed the future of the working
relationship between FDs and their IT directors.
Ade McCormack, Auridian
In my view, the CIO of tomorrow needs to be boardroom material. That might
involve a genetic change because a lot of CIOs are actually just techies that
have been in technology for a long time. But the next generation of CIO will be
a rounded business person that will have the political skills to work at board
level, and to work alongside the CFO.
As it stands in most organisations today, the CIO tends to work for the CFO.
And the CFO is frustrated by the CIO, because the CIO is unable to demonstrate
value, because IT as an industry itself can’t demonstrate value.
CIO may as well stand for “career is over”. I would like the CIO to stand for
chief innovation officer, where the CIO sits on the board and advises the CEO
and the rest of the team in terms of where the business can go.
Bill Murray, managing director, group business information strategy,
The first job is for finance and IT to recognise that they don’t run the
company. And the company doesn’t exist for their benefit. The business, in its
broadest sense, is what everything is about.
There comes a point where it’s difficult to see the boundaries between what’s
a finance function, what’s a business system function, what’s an IT operations
function, what’s an HR function.
Finance and IT have to work incredibly closely together. But actually, all of
them have got to understand that their real relationship needs to be directly
out and business-facing. Without understanding what the business is trying to
do, and what the business’s requirements and frustrations and opportunities are,
then the agenda to which those central departments start to work together on
will be flawed.
Tom Gunson, partner & leader, transforming finance,
There is an element of helping the business be aware of what the system or the
[piece of kit] is going to deliver. And that’s where finance comes into it; they
almost play a business analyst role.
I don’t think we should be having the business understand IT. I want the
business out there selling widgets. So finance has a role to play in
interpreting what the business wants, what that strategic imperative is that
they’re heading towards, and then working with IT to get there.
I don’t really care who does it. But someone has to be there, interpreting
what the business was not necessarily expecting them to get down and
understand what technology can do.
The business should be focused on its strategic imperative in terms of
driving performance. Finance or IT then interpret that, and come back to them
with what they will deliver in terms of top-line and bottom-line costs and an