Have CFO and CIO become synonymous? I must have missed that because last time I checked, these were two different skill sets. Yet according to a spring 2012 study by UK service provider Getronics, the role of CIO will be obsoleted by 2017. Well, check back here then because I’m telling you the CIO isn’t going anywhere yet.
I’m not even sure why all the buzz – the study said only about 1/5 of the respondents even believed the CIO was vanishing that soon. Not a strong number
But forget that. Let’s look at the CFO/CIO dance.
When IT evolved out of Data Processing, it was entirely in the CFO’s realm. The first business computing machines were all about accounting and finance. Payroll, accounting – these were the early apps. And enterprises wrote most every line of code themselves.
Fast forward 40 years and a lot has changed. Every LOB, not just accounting, request IT services and functions. Lots of those requests don’t even get to the CIO – they go to a SaaS/Cloud provider instead – and none of the CxO’s necessarily like that at all.
As public could services come online LOBs often employ “shadow IT” to get their project up and running without the perceived hassles of internal IT – just slap down a credit card and be done with it. The good of that is there’s an outside number to compare to.
And with the boardroom focused on the bottom line, some say “The CIO came out of finance, maybe it’s time she went back to finance!”. Are you surprised this has highlighted a power struggle between CIO and CFO?
In the too-familiar case of a CFO and CIO each thinking they could do the other’s job as well as their own, a clue for you: You can’t. Finance isn’t IT isn’t Finance.
The real problem here is complexity. When IT spun out of accounting you COULD be an expert in finance AND IT. Today, there’s just too much – and different ways of thinking.