FT Tries Tackling CFO-CIO Issues
Special package looks at the importance of the "chiefs" working together -- from data security to cloud and ERP operations.
Wed, March 21, 2012
CFOworld — In a special package, the Financial Times is tackling the issue that CFOworld considers paramount for CFOs: working closely together with IT to get their companies on track for profitable global competition and growth.
At times it's a bit stilted -- dare I say it, British -- as the headline for the main story, "IT and Finance Sit Ever Closer Side by Side," suggests. And you'll have to register (it's free) to get access. But the package breaks down critical issues into easy-to-understand parts under the rubric "The Connected Business.""
Look for "Data Theft: Good Security Does Not Require Fluency in 'Geek'," along with "ERP: A Convincing Case Must Be Made Before Investment," for example. First make sure board-level leadership and accountability is in place, rather than going for a "gold standard" on an unsure foundation, one article suggests.
Mainly, though, it's good to see the discussion of finance and technology working together getting the attention it deserves -- and new voices emerging to offer cases of what's going right, and wrong.
In addition to sampling the consulting experts in the field of ERP, for example, a story headlined "Consolidating Data: Wean Financial Directors from Spreadsheets" tells the tale of UK engineering group IMI, whose group financial controller, Ivan Ronald, discusses the complexity of having to report to his board, executive team and the external community -- when acquisitions are introducing numerous separate accounting systems.
"It sounds simple to identify and define what information you want, and the processes to capture it without manual intervention, but that can be tricky across a diversified group," he says. He then talks about the pros and cons of simplifying the 30 to 40 ERP systems that have been collected at the company, some of them "really creaking because they have not been updated for 15 years."