The Wall Street Journal cites the critical importance of a team-centric C-Suite. They call it the Symphonic C-Suite where each member of the C-Suite brings their unique skills and expertise together in perfect harmony[1].

In this relentlessly changing and increasingly competitive business landscape where digital disruption demands that we constantly evolve to deliver our services to our customers on their terms, the notion of a Symphonic C-Suite becomes more important than ever before – particularly between the Finance and IT functions. In the past, the CFO would manage an organization’s finances while the CIO would oversee its technology. Now, both roles rely on the same data to make strategic decisions. This overlap has created a distinct need for the CFO and CIO to work together to effectively drive value and growth.

As a CFO, when you partner with the CIO, you can optimize your IT budget to achieve the greatest business benefits. Your CIO can also help you find opportunities for material savings and potential growth opportunities.

Here are the top 3 ways you can collaborate with your CIO to drive value across your organization:

  1. Align your goals.

Chances are, you and your CIO have many of the same objectives. According to IDG Communications, CIOs[2] want to create a vision of the technological possibilities and align technology with your business strategy. This vision can strongly support your own business objectives. For example, adopting new solutions and modernizing legacy applications can help meet your goals of improving data management and business intelligence, increasing automation and improving information security to mitigate risk.

When you plan the IT budget, ensure that your CIO is aligned with you on business growth. Any new technologies that you purchase must drive your organization forward and help you achieve your shared goals.

  1. Automate your processes

Automating processes not only involves technology, but it can control costs and requires you to comply with regulations. An article on CFO Tech Outlook[3] states that this makes business process automation a “classic case for collaboration between the CFO and CIO.” Work with your CIO to determine which processes to automate and select technologies that will help you achieve your goals in a compliant, secure, and cost-effective manner.

  1. Secure your data

Protecting your organization’s data isn’t just something that your IT team needs to worry about. According to research by The CFO Alliance, cyber security is one of the top three risks that keep CFOs up at night.[4]

The CFO Alliance recommends that CFOs and CIOs work together to create a business continuity plan and minimize the costs of a data breach[5]. This includes:

  • Defining your potential risks and how they can impact your operations.
  • Implement safeguards to mitigate these risks.
  • Train employees on how to keep financial data secure.
  • Create procedures to promptly respond to security incidents.
  • Review these procedures on a regular basis to ensure that they work.
  • Set aside an appropriate budget for cyber security.
  • Investing in cyber insurance to ensure appropriate coverage.

In this age of digital disruption, CFOs that are partnering with other business leaders are driving progress, growth and material savings more swiftly and effectively across the entire organization. Learn how other CFOs are collaborating with CIOs in strategic alignment, budgeting and process improvement to drive growth and create value at RicohChangeMakers.


[1] Wall Street Journal, Rise of the Symphonic C-Suite, 2018

2 IDG Communications, Goals for CIOs in 2018, 2018

[3] CFO Tech Outlook, How a Positive Relationship Between the CFO and CIO Will Help Your Organization

[4] The CFO Alliance, Three Risk Exposures CFOs Need to Own: Financial Risk, Customer Retention, Cyber Security, 2016

[5] The CFO Alliance, Technology Risk Management: Integrating Cyber Security and Business Continuity Planning, 2016