December Issue

How to Get Along With the CFO

Follow these three steps to build a good relationship with your CFO: Figure out which business metrics really matter, understand your IT capital and operational costs and manage expectations about IT risk.

CFOs are usually quick to judge whether they think IT is successful or not, so it's important to understand their perspective on IT--inside and out. They tend to pepper CIOs with questions like these: What technologies do other companies in our industry use? Should we change systems? How can we be more productive and, at the same time, save money on IT? Why is it taking so long to finish that email migration? Why are we still buying servers and maintenance--isn't everything in the cloud? Should we consider this vendor or that technology?

Those are all good questions, but CIOs would be better off having conversations with the CFO that explain some fundamental realities about IT and help to manage expectations. Those conversations should cover the following ground:

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