FEI Article: What CFOs Want From IT

The following article was in the January 2013 issue of the FEI (Financial Executives International) San Diego Chapter Newsletter.
Short and sweet, which is ironic because our own CFO, Kevin O’Hare, is tall and a wee bit saucy. I’m just sayin’.
The important take-away regarding cloud services is that one size does not fit all — so there’s no need to rush and jump on a bandwagon. Take the time to evaluate and prioritize your needs and use that strategy to inform your internal / external deployment decision-making.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing

What CFOs Want From IT

By Bill Sinnett, Senior Director, Research
Financial Executives Research Foundation
“Information, social, cloud and mobile technology trends are on the CFO’s radar” is one of the key findings from the 2012 Technology Issues for Financial Executives survey, hosted by Gartner for FEI’s Committee on Finance & IT (CFIT) and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF).
This was the theme of a recent webcast hosted by Oracle.
Here are some of the CFO strategies that the Oracle executives discussed:

  • Identify which employees will benefit the most from mobile applications in your finance organization.
  • Identify tasks you are targeting for mobile applications, such as business intelligence, process management or data capture, and make sure your mobile vendor can support those tasks.
  • Look for a single platform that works across all operating systems, so any changes will be reflected across all your enterprise applications and mobile devices.
  • Look for integration with mobile device management and security applications.


  • One size does not fit all.
  • Identify where you can leverage cloud computing to reduce costs and increase service responsiveness.
  • Find out how much your own IT services cost compared to public cloud offerings.
  • Create a plan to incorporate cloud computing into your security and governance policies.

Big Data:

  • Reduce your dependence on executives who rely on intuition or experience to make decisions – data driven decisions are winning out.
  • Know what questions to ask before you start your Big Data project.
  • Select five opportunities you can do in five weeks, using five people.
  • Experiment, measure, share, replicate!


  • Familiarize yourself with social technologies – sign up for Facebook or Twitter on your smartphone and use it!
  • Work closely with your CMO to identify new social ROI measures you can use to track return on your IT investment.
  • Think about ways that social sentiment can improve your product pricing and forecasting processes.