Project Management

CIOs: Consider Divesting Your Budgets

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

For many it is that time of year when the business planning process for the New Year begins.  It has been a rocky economic road since 2008, and the messages are mixed as 2011 looms large before us.  The extreme focus on cost control has led to a disturbing trend for IT professionals--that trend being the redirecting of whom the CIO reports to within organizations, specifically the trend away from reporting to the CEO back to reporting to the CFO.  Once again a bizarre conclusion has been reached by organizations moving in this direction.  Somehow an assumption that the CFO can better lead the CIO than the CEO because of the perceived need to control IT spending as taken hold and is gaining traction.  Why single out IT for this return to a bad reporting relationship?  What qualifications can CFOs in general possibly have that would lead the CEO to believe that they are a better judge of spending on business initiatives that have large IT components (which is most of them) than the CIO or the VP of Marketing or the COO or the Director of Human Resources?

In a recent article at CIO Zone, entitled “Grappling with the CIO-CFO-CEO Reporting Dynamic “ the author cited a recent Gartner Group Survey that suggests the following:

the CFO is increasingly becoming the top IT decision-maker in many organizations. The study, which is based …

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