Why Can’t Your IT Manager and CFO Just Get Along?

Why can't your IT Manager and CFO just get along?
A pertinent question for the end of the Australian fiscal year: Why can’t your IT Manager and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) just get along?

The answer is: they won’t! Unless at least one of them can change their thinking.

Seismometers have already registered unequivocal rumblings. The scenario where the IT Manager, or Chief Information Officer (CIO), is relegated to reporting to the CFO. In the very near future, a tectonic shift is likely to occur and the traditional IT Manager role will be subducted completely.

Almost certainly long before we see Marty McFly on a Hoverboard.

I know, it stings like a Band-Aid being wantonly torn from an excessively hirsute arm. But someone had to say it so that we can prepare for the approaching extinction level event. How, then, do we prepare?

Three Tips for the IT Manager of 2017

Here’s three tips for the IT Manager of AD 2017.

  1. Lost in Translation.

    “I just feel so alone, even when I’m surrounded by other people.”

    Not everyone on the Executive Team speaks “geek”. They do speak “business”, though. Quite honestly, your C-level would rather root canal treatment than the debilitating waves of nausea that come from hearing your diatribe about VMs, log shipping, iSCSI enabled data storage, and megabits per second.

    What they want to know is how much time – hence productivity and income – is lost reinstating business activities if a fire converts your office to charcoal, and what can be done to mitigate said risk to an acceptable degree.

    You didn’t ask how long your business could accept being off the air before devising your fiendishly expensive technological terror of a Disaster Recovery plan? The difference could be an order of magnitude in cost. That’s not an endearing way to relax those purse strings.

    Any time you communicate internally it must be business and outcomes focused. Relish your job as the primary translator of “geek” to “business” and, where necessary, back again.

  2. A Simple Plan.

    “We don’t have anything in common, me and him, except maybe our last name.”

    It’s not the end of the world. Yet.

    It’s been said that Steve Jobs hewed a clandestine four-year plan. Whether this was a prodigious blueprint for Apple’s future is conjecture but a plan is a plan.

    You should be marching to the drum of your company’s overall business plan. Ask sensible questions to clarify aspects of it. Then your personal objective should be to foster relationships with external IT firms that share their knowledge with you and your company. Make sure you’ve configured your business to derive all the technology sustenance it needs to thrive in the years ahead.

    By doing so, your legacy will be well lauded.

  3. Take the Money and Run.

    “Do you know if it’s raining outside?”

    With some IT services relegated to the Cloud and the remainder directed by some rather intelligent tin tinkering professionals, why are you still on the payroll?

    I’m sure your CFO can handle all the contractual arrangements from here on. If they find themselves in a quandary, someone will oblige. Perhaps the contact details on contract approvals will be a guiding beacon.

    2017 could be your last year so it’s time to re-cogitate, offer value, and generate GDP for the country. Or fritter away your hours on YouTube and your over provisioned home Internet. Your choice.

Three Tips for the CFO of 2017

Here’s three tips for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of AD 2017.

  1. Executive Decision.

    “That was a very brave thing to do.”

    IT needs proper representation at the Board Room table. Strategic and innovative IT is the best way to turn that technology money pit from a cost centre to a profit centre.

    Clarify both the company’s objectives and your personal goals with your IT Manager. In such discussions, invite options for paths forward. Options are the corrective lenses that your IT Manager can utilise to focus on possible solutions in support of your company’s plan. Naturally, you’ll be seeking an analysis of costs, benefits and risks within each option so make that known at the outset.

    IT gobbledygook may rear its head so politely repeal such language and maintain a steady-hand on the business language tiller. In doing so, your IT Manager will be furnished to have an enhanced conversation with external trusted IT advisors that can help do the heavy lifting.

    When you both reconvene, you’ll be poised with options and knowledge to make a superior executive decision.

  2. Dial I for IT Support.

    “How long have you known this?”

    Even if you’ve taken flight to the Cloud, you still need some form of computing device on your desk. You’ll also require networking components and reliable Internet connectivity. Just who is supporting that, ensuring it’s all running as smooth as silk?

    Unfortunately, machines don’t run themselves. Amongst sudden other things, your IT Manager – or an external service provider – should be diligently patching operating systems, antivirus software, and ensuring that hardware is serviced and renewed periodically.

    The last thing you want is a blunt statement that says: “All of our hardware and software is out of date, out of support, and needs to be replaced.” How much will that cost? And how long have we known this was coming?

  3. It’s a Wonderful Life.

    “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s [woman's] life touches so many other lives. When [s]he isn’t around [s]he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t [s]he?”

    Don’t shunt IT towards the tail end of your priorities. Some worthy advice on data analytics, for example, will undoubtedly provide you with greater business insights than could otherwise be achieved with pivot tables in Excel.

    DuPont analysis, accrual accounting, and P&L sheets are here for the long haul and so is IT in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Embrace and leverage technology to help your business thrive.

    Especially, before your IT Manager leaves that awful hole in your technological capabilities.

Of course, this might not be reality at all. But time will tell. Now, where’s the keys to my flying DeLorean?

Three ways you can apply this information now

  • Share this article – who else might find this of interest?
  • Start a conversation at work – how has your company found solace?
  • Contact Us – let’s get the conversation going!

Contact Us or phone 1300 LOFTUS (1300 563 887) to discover how we can help your business leverage its investment in IT.

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