Business Intelligence Slideshow: What Your CFO Is Not Telling You

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 09-20-2010

What Your CFO Is Not Telling You

"I hate the 80/20 rule as much as you do."It's not fun for either of you to deliver on the promise that maintenance costs will be driven down to 20 percent of the CIO's budget, with the rest consumed by supporting strategy and business growth.

What Your CFO Is Not Telling You

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Is there an alternative to 80/20?Try a formula that focuses on IT spending per revenue dollar, says Microgen's Tom Crawford.

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"You were right about that data-mart thing. It really is driving profitability."Too often, CFOs are so focused on managing costs and updating forecasts that they don't acknowledge when a CIO's expertise has eclipsed their own.

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"I have no idea what you're talking about."When you lapse into "tech speak," your CFO may nod as if he or she is not missing a beat. Beware. This sets the stage for future conflicts about what was really discussed.

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"Tell me a good story, then I'll consider your proposal."You need a good story or two to illustrate why a project is needed. Present case studies about similar organizations that have pursued the same plan and met with positive, measurable results, says Logicalis CFO Greg Baker.

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"Put down the BlackBerry, come into my office and let's just talk."In 10 minutes together, a CIO and CFO can cover more ground over a cup of coffee than they can with 10 E-mails, says Microgen's Crawford.

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"You're a CIO, not a firefighter."Putting out the daily blaze isn't in your job description. Think about outsourcing more of your IT administration and explore other options for reducing productivity drains.

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"I wish I had your job."The CFO may envy you. He's the "accountability" exec. You're the one who gets to pursue innovation and play with cool toys.

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Three suggestions to improve your relationship:

1. Create internal networking opps for IT, financial staff members. Make it a brown-bag lunch to discuss constant log-jams, or an informal gathering at a local watering hole. Anything to break down walls. -- Tom Crawford, Microgen

Three suggestions to improve your relationship:

Three suggestions to improve your relationship:

2. Read magazines written for CFOs. In 15 minutes, you can learn about the challenges CFOs face and what drives them. You may even find a solution for a common vocational dilemma. -- Tom Crawford, Microgen

Three suggestions to improve your relationship:

Three suggestions to improve your relationship:

3. Brainstorm for a joint CIO/CFO project that will tap into your respective strengths to deliver cost-savings/value to your organization. You'll build a sense of esprit de corps in the process. -- Tom Crawford, Microgen

Three suggestions to improve your relationship: