Enhancing the CFO/CIO Partnership

Or a change in the rules of the game: someone else meeting your customer’s needs more efficiently or effectively through a new business model, process or product. An opening in the market you can exploit, or the realization that an entirely new market is ripe for the picking.

To avoid the risks and seize the opportunities, to actually execute on a strategy, firms must marshal this tsunami of information, filter the signals from the noise, and feed it into the appropriate corners of the organization where it can be acted upon. The organization must be so designed as to act appropriately, in concert with the firm’s strategy, and in a cost-effective and profit-minded way.

Any organization can stay busy, caught up in its rituals and grandfathered processes, but action not directed at meeting the needs of a customer so effectively and effectively that a profit results is activity that benefits the competition. Technology will do the work. Dollars will measure the result. And it is here that the green eye shades and the pocket protectors will find common ground.

Together CFO and CIO must be advocates for:

  • An enterprise-wide strategy that relies on an adaptive organization able to sense and respond to the shifting desires of existing and potential customers, seizing opportunities and deflecting risks in a global marketplace.
  • The creation of a strategic enterprise architecture (SEA), a story of what the firm is trying to accomplish and how, taking into account customers, external partners and internal business processes. This is a map of the business with a complementary map of the technology that enables it.
  • An assessment of what the organization is now, and what it should be, and a plan to create the organizational structures, employee incentives and information flows necessary in the desired future state. Further, exactly how does the firm intend to get there?
  • The convergence of the management of the business and the management of technology to eliminate one of the chief sources of inefficiency and ineffectiveness in many organizations.

These workaday management tasks constitute an agenda that can replace the petty annoyances and misunderstandings that easily distract the CFO and CIO as they approach common concerns from different backgrounds and with different points of view. Leading companies have figured this out. And if you haven’t, you might be wise to wonder if your competitors have.

Faisal Hoque is the founder and CEO of of BTM Corporation. A former senior executive at GE and other multi-nationals, Faisal is an internationally known entrepreneur and thought leader. He has written five management books, established a non-profit institute, The BTM Institute, and become a leading authority on the issue of effective interaction between business and technology. BTM Corporation innovates new business models and enhances financial performance by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property.