How CommBank Indonesia is charting a new tech path, aided by Finance

Timothy Delahunty is balancing innovation and risk to help set the course for the next five years of progress at the Jakarta-based banking giant.

timothy delahunty commbank indonesia 2
CommBank Indonesia

For many years, the industry narrative of CIOs and CFOs enduring a tumultuous relationship has waxed and waned. It may be waxing again across Southeast Asia due to the rising financial challenges triggered by COVID-19, kickstarting the process of reassessing budgets and investment plans, with CIOs’ value as innovators and strategic leaders diminished as cost controls become more urgent.

According to  IDG’s “State of the CIO” findings, only 8% of CIOs report to the CFO in Asia, level with those who report the COO (8%) but considerably behind those who report to the CEO (53%). That’s in line with a 20-year-old journey for CIOs globally out of Finance into the C-suite. Yet the Finance department holds 22% control of budgets specifically earmarked for investments in technology services and products, while at the same time the role of CIO now expanding beyond traditional IT responsibilities to focus on finance (19%). The diverging directions leave room for continued tension.

In IT’s archetype narrative, on one hand is the control-freak CFO who is a fastidious bean counter and innovation blocker, operating in the back-pocket of the CEO. On the other hand is the technology-obsessed CIO who exists outside of business priorities and struggles to communicate corporate value, pressing ahead without big-picture thinking.

While both represent lazy caricatures of mission-critical roles, tension does exist on occasion between both positions.

Yet the opposite is true at Commonwealth Bank Indonesia (CommBank), evident through the appointment of Timothy Delahunty as general manager and director of technology, operations, and finance.

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