All you need is 60 seconds to start fixing the CIO-CFO relationship

It’s billed as a simple one-minute recap on YouTube, but IT leaders could probably get more value out of the final thoughts from an Ernst & Young webcast on the partnership required between CFOs and CIOs than they could by sitting through the average full panel discussion.

I hadn’t come across the report the Webcast builds upon until I saw this clip, but just a few months ago the company released the results of a survey of hundreds of chief financial officers and interviews with their counterparts in IT. Most of the results aren’t shocking: For example, 71 percent of CFOs report increased involvement in the IT agenda in the last three years, 66% of CFOs make cybersecurity a high or very high priority, and CFOs’ insufficient understanding of IT issues is the number one barrier in their relationship with CIOs.

Instead, I liked the succinct, seemingly off-the-off remarks in this wrap-up. See below:

Given that the heads of finance departments probably aren’t deeply familiar with arcane technology terms and product features, Chris Mazzei, EY’s chief analytics officer, gently suggested that CIOs should think in CFO terms before they speak:

“Understand who the user is that is ultimately going to have to take a different action as a result of the insights from analytics,” he said, “and ensure that you’ve thought through (whether or not) that person has the right competencies.”

Even better was Christer Johnson, a principal in EY’s Enterprise Intelligence advisory practice, who invoked JFK in his recommendation:

“Don’t ask, how do I get value from this data,” said Christer Johnson from EY. “Ask, ‘what can I do to create value for my organization,” and then work back from there on the analytics and the data that’s necessary to do that.”

I’m not sure when (or if) the full webcast will be available on demand, but it sounds well worth listening to. Otherwise, use this video as super-quick conversation starter with your CFO today.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Shane Schick
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