There is an interesting discussion going on at Enterprise Efficiency about reporting relationship between CIO, CFO and CEO - Your CFO Doesn't Like You. Comments from people shared views on whether CIO should be reporting to CEO, and most think it should be, rather than reporting to the CFO (which research shown as more common). My view is that the partnership between CIO, CFO and CEO are more important than that reporting relationship. A lot of times IT is seen as a cost center because the partnership isn't there. And a foundation to that partnership is a common language between CIO, CFO, and CEO - the business value of IT that aligns to the organization objectives and results. If the CIO continues to talk about technology only, he/she is not going to win the respect. The following are some extract of my comments in the discussion. How do you think on this subject?
"Politics aside, there needs to be a better partner built between the CIO and the CFO, and the CEO, in order to deliver the true potential of IT and its strategic value to the organization. It doesn't help if the CIO keeps talking about technology, the CFO keeps talking about cost, and the CEO talks about business results. However, this isn't surprising because of their professional background.
A common language needs to be established between the 3 in order to build that understanding and partnership. I see 'Business Value' is one of those key common languages. Instead of measuring various cost factor of IT, Business Value measures the value IT is creating for the business, e.g. return of IT buget invested, measureable improvements in the supply chain, time-to-market in product development. With an establish set of value metrics & culture for the IT organizations, and for the IT projects, CIOs can show the bottom-line and top-line results for the organization. Instead of focusing on cost of IT, CIO and CFO can now discuss IT investments returns; CEO and CIO can more effectively talk about business strategy alignment.
When CEO, CFO and CIO can speak the same language, it builds a foundation for a better partnership. Not only that, it helps positioning IT as a value center, rather than a cost center."
Jimmy, I also saw the discussion you mentioned and have enjoyed reading it.
As I read your perspective here it has reminded me of an article I saw on CIO.com titled "IT Value is Dead. Long Live Business Value".
I printed this article in May and it sits on my desk as a daily reminder that when we approach IT innovation as a means drive business value, then the alignment issues between CIO - CFO - CEO go away and a strong collaborative partnership emerges naturally.