BlogsKeys to a Successful Relationship Between CFO and CIO

October 13, 2016, by Ryan Miller

Recently, we wrote an article about what CEOs are looking for in CFOs. It goes beyond just financial aptitude, as today’s CFOs are involved in many vital leadership roles. Experience, global understanding and strategic thinking are just a few of the qualities that can help a CFO become an important advisor to the CEO.

However, there is another executive relationship we’d like to focus on. It’s the often-overlooked relationship between the CFO and CIO. In an ever-expanding global market where digital capabilities continue to evolve, finance and information technology are two of the most important departments in any progressive company. The CFO and CIO need to work in unison to help make the business as successful as possible.

The CFO is looking to minimize risk and not exceed the budget while the CIO is trying to expand reach and get the most out of the company’s technological assets. These differing priorities are why it’s more important than ever for these two executive leaders to work closely with one another. With Big Data, analytics, cloud-based computing, social media and mobile solutions continuing to expand, new business models need to be explored and implemented.

Two of the top priorities for businesses in 2016 have been increasing operational efficiency and improving the customer experience. These goals directly connect the CFO and CIO. How can you achieve growth through information technology without overspending? The CIO needs to have a clear agenda on their digital strategy that is presented to the CFO and executive team. The CFO will then be critical in finding resources to achieve that agenda or in helping to ratify the plan and keep it within budget.

With a collaborative approach rather than a combative one, more can be accomplished. The CIO can continue to push for technological growth while the CFO can make sure all the financial strategies and digital expenditures are sound.

As the role of a CFO in today’s business world continues to evolve, adaptability is crucial. KPMG refers to this new brand of CFO as a “Renaissance CFO”, since so much more is involved in the position. Business models are changing all over the world. Lines between traditional executive positions are getting blurred. CFOs are expected to know and do more within their companies. The relationship between CFO and CIO is a prime example of these changes. Are you ready to adapt?

To learn more about ways in which Centennial supports CFOs, please contact Ryan Miller at (714) 740-1111 ext. 274 or