IT Transformation Hinges Upon Eliminating Friction Between CIOs and CFOs, Says Forbes Insights Report

Despite the high priority enterprises have placed on IT Transformation during the past few years, many of them still haven’t found the secret to gaining significant improvements in customer service and a clear competitive advantage from these efforts. A new study helps explain why. Less than stellar IT Transformation results often center on problems that arise between two pivotal players—CIOs and CFOs—and their struggle to work together as a cohesive team.

A new report by Forbes Insights, in association with Dell EMC, "IT Transformation: Success Hinges on CIO/CFO Collaboration," finds that a stunning 89% of senior executives acknowledge that significant barriers exist—ranging from outdated ideas about the role of CIOs to obsolete reporting structures—that keep CIOs and CFOs from collaborating more closely. The study’s data derives from a global survey of 500 CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CFOs conducted by Forbes Insights and Dell EMC. The survey and a series of in-depth interviews with global IT and business executives also highlight other underlying frictions that thwart CIOs and CFOs from forming a united front to capitalize on the benefits of IT Transformation.

But a select group of enterprises that succeed in IT Transformation offers hope for ensuring that IT infrastructure modernization strategies can overcome these barriers and deliver concrete business results. In fact, companies that succeed in IT Transformation report the strongest competitive positions and high growth—with gains in both sales and profits of 7% or more in the past year. This group demonstrates a direct correlation between business success and transformation maturity, with 68% of leaders rating IT Transformation as an established strategic priority and in many cases a component in overall business strategies. The research and interviews also show what best practices IT Transformation leaders have developed to overcome these barriers and enable them to use their digital prowess to increase the value of their businesses. “Some CFOs still see IT as just a cost center, which doesn’t make collaboration easy,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media. “And CIOs need to apply their skills to core business processes like supply chains.”

“IT Transformation is quickly moving from a differentiator to a non-negotiable strategy for companies seeking to reduce time to market and pull ahead of the competition,” said Gaurav Chand, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dell EMC. “The CIO/CFO dynamic has significant influence in any business—and collaboration between those roles is the key to tying IT investments to business outcomes. Companies not already moving toward IT Transformation need to start now, or be left behind.”

Key takeaways:

·         89% of senior executives acknowledge that significant barriers keep CIOs and CFOs from collaborating more closely on IT Transformation
·         Companies with the most successful transformation efforts see 7+% gains in sales and profits
·         IT transformation leaders are more than 2X as likely to report they are ahead of their competition and 2.5X more likely to report return on investment in 12 months or less.
·         85% of global executives plan to spend up to a quarter of their total enterprise budgets on IT Transformation in 2018
·         The top three investment areas in the next year will be big data platforms (77%), cloud services (76%) and social-media activities (72%)
·         75% of global enterprises will invest in IT process reengineering, while 69% will automate IT as a service and 67% will install new server technologies
·         The top goals for IT Transformation are reduced IT costs (75%), being first to market with new products and services (73%) and reallocating funds to strategic business projects (67%)
·         Leading companies see significantly faster returns on their transformation investments, with a quarter registering paybacks within 12 months