The past few days I’ve been cranking on some stories that pertain to the finance chief’s role in IT decision-making. The common thread through the articles: Not only does the CFO have a broadening scope on spending, but also the chance to be a hero, and identify new areas for budget savings and revenue generation.
The first article “Putting a Finger on Compliance Control” looked at a city’s use of technology to shore up their compliance vulnerabilities. In the Florida city of Winter Park, IT selected and the finance director approved (along with other city executives) the use of biometrics to secure police department workstations. They found the biometric technology so useful that they deployed it to all city workstations. What came to light in this article is that IT and finance are partnering on more projects and, when it comes to compliance, finance is actually playing a lead role.
Another story examined managed print services, and how one firm is headstrong about taking the decision to switch to an outsourced strategy directly to the CFO. InnerWorkings Inc. CFO Joseph Busky says that the lax nature of in-house managed print services is costing Fortune 2000 companies big bucks and that finance teams have to start paying attention. InnerWorkings wants CFOs to replace in-house print managers with a consultant that uses a proprietary database of 8,000 printers to access the proper equipment in a nearby region for a better price. The company says doing so could save as much as 20% on hard print costs and payroll.
A third story explored a new study by the Maven Wave Partners consultancy in Chicago that shows IT spending is on the rise. Firm partner Brian Farrar says that CFOs should look at this positively, and start to approve IT technology requests. He points out that the bond that the CFO and IT have created over the past few years should help ensure that all spending is appropriate, targeted and guided by an in-depth ROI analysis.
I encourage you to check out these stories and see the impact that your fellow CFOs are making — and, perhaps, to glimpse some opportunities for innovation and savings still to come.