How’s your professional relationship with your CIO right now? A recent Gartner survey shows that many of your peers are struggling to work closely with their top IT execs because they aren’t seeing eye to eye for various reasons.
A mere 30% of professional relationships between CFOs and CIOs are marked by business centricity and strong collegiality, according to Gartner’s research.
Without these two elements, it’s more difficult for them to figure out how to fund a company’s digital initiatives, keep any tech spending within budget and achieve favorable outcomes that boost the bottom line.
Data from Gartner backs that up. Those execs that do have a strong relationship with their CIO are 51% more likely to easily find funding for digital transformation projects, 39% more likely to have costs for these projects within budget and 18% more likely to achieve their objectives.
Better professional relationships between CFOs and CIOs are also linked to:
- A shared framework for understanding the top key performance indicators (KPIs) that would be impacted by digital upgrades (shown by 64% of those with a close relationship compared with 48% without one)
- Active involvement of Finance leaders in developing IT’s tech roadmap (shown by 80% of those with close relationships compared to 62% without one), and
- Cost transparency for digital projects (shown by 75% of those with a close relationship compared to 62% of those who don’t have one).
How to improve your professional relationship with IT
Here are some tried and true steps for improving your relationship with your CIO and your IT department, straight from Gartner:
- Create a common set of metrics to measure the success of digital projects. CFOs and IT may have different ideas as to what makes a digital investment successful. So it’s key to find common ground. Some good ways to start are to look at changes in user/employee engagement and participation/tech usage.
- Share business KPIs with IT. IT likely knows why tech upgrades will make life easier for them, but you may need to connect that with the impact on your business performance so they can get the big picture. Pairing digital metrics directly with desired KPIs (e.g., linking increased tech usage with higher sales volume) can help.
- Implement tools that help visualize cost transparency. Work with IT to develop a way by which you can match up the costs of digital upgrades with any related business improvements (e.g., revenue boosts, money savings). Whether this is done through business intelligence software or another form of reporting, this will help both sides see any return on investment you’re getting in real time and make adjustments as needed.