Chief Financial Officer. It is a heady title, and we know the responsibility it carries. CFOs are responsible for managing the company’s finances from top to bottom, in fact. However, the role has been evolving in recent years — making the connection between finance and IT stronger than ever.

The role of today’s CFO

Traditionally, Chief Financial Officers have been responsible for a wide range of tasks including financial planning, managing financial risk, benchmarking, and forecasting, managing growth, and providing records and reports for the organization. While these core aspects are still in place, CFOs today are thought of as much more than simply the keyholder to the company’s coffers!

The challenges faced by today’s CFO

Rather, modern CFOs are expected to play a deeper strategic role in any company, well beyond standard accounting best practices.

  • Today’s CFO must communicate actively across departments, managers, and executives to provide accurate insight and analysis whenever needed.
  • Today’s CFO must be aware of potential financial risks and how these fit in to the company’s overall growth strategy over time.
  • Today’s CFO must uncover new opportunities to grow revenue or reduce costs, in all areas of the company.
  • Today’s CFO must be acutely aware of compliance and fraud risks, as these can cost the business dearly (e.g., hefty fines or expensive remediation procedures).
  • Today’s CFO must be ready, at any time, for audits or the need to disclose financial information efficiently.

How IT inventory management helps today’s CFO

You may be thinking: what does this all have to do with IT? Isn’t that someone else’s role? While it’s true that the day-to-day management of IT assets may fall to the IT Asset Manager in the organization, think about how technology use has expanded. According to Gartner, spending in IT infrastructure (worldwide device revenue, specifically) hit $690 billion in 2018.

Due to the massive expansion and adoption of tech resources across the world, IT assets affect the financial outlook of any company more in 2019 than ever before. We all know this trend is not likely to change, either. This means that IT assets are a key focus for today’s CFO:

  • Compliance risks can be costly. How will the CFO be able to quickly assess any data or technology related risks — and the expenditures of resolving them – as part of the company’s financial strategy?
  • Digital reporting and business intelligence are part of the new normal for record keeping. How will the CFO deliver accurate reports on the company’s IT footprint within a limited time scope — and communicate them to executives and managers?
  • CFOs have a wide range of responsibilities, and it does not include a device-by-device knowledge of the company’s IT inventory. Yet, the CFO must develop long-term financial strategies involving this inventory. How will the CFO quickly access needed data for this analysis?
  • CFOs are responsible, however, for growing revenue and reducing cost within the organization. How will CFOs maximize the ROI of company IT assets and make profitable procurement and disposition decisions without accurate, easily accessible data around those assets?

Author: Sipi