- CFOs are having the hardest time among C-suite executives aligning their strategies to those of CIOs as their companies undergo a digital transformation, according to a study by Financial Times and Apptio, an IT cost-analysis software company.
- Companies' digital transformation has led to a growing spirit of cooperation among executives and greater trust in information technology across the business, the study found. But at the same time, it has led to a blurring of responsibilities and new tensions in the C-suite, particularly between IT and finance executives.
- Driving the tension are differences over which new products and services to invest in, how to allocate the company's investment dollar, and how to measure accountability for the IT investment decisions that are made. "It's becoming harder for the IT function to track the impact of new technologies across the business," the report said. "And that makes it difficult for the technology function to make its case to finance leaders and the board."
CFOs are challenged to put a value on their technology investment, Fredrik Lannerberth, an IT finance executive at Danske Bank, said in the report. "It will blend into a bigger mass of products and initiatives, and it's challenging to distinguish the effects of specific investments and to follow up on the original business case," he said.
The difficulty in holding CIOs accountable for whether technology investments are paying off might be behind the wide disparity between CFOs and other executives in how closely their strategies are aligned with those of CIOs. When asked if they consider themselves deeply aligned with their CIOs, 56% of CEOs said yes, compared with 48% of COOs, 38% of CMOs and only 30% of CFOs.
Almost half of executives said their company's digital transformation has widened the gap between CFOs and CIOs, and 71% of CFOs said CIOs must improve their influencing skills to deliver the change their companies seek from their IT investment.