When it comes to purchasing new technology and investing in new systems, two particular individuals play a key role in the decision making process; the CFO and the CIO. IT priorities have been fluctuating over the past decade, and choosing where to invest requires a team effort. The CFO and CIO want to work together, and their ultimate goal is to participate in and lead the growth of the company. However, their roles within an organization are quite different. Chief Financial Officers want to make investment decisions with the cost and the return at the top of mind. The Chief Information Officer wants to invest based on software and technologies with the greatest potential for business transformation. In order to make effective decisions, the process must be business-focused, and more importantly, must incorporate the perspective of both of these C-Levels in order to maximize the benefits.
Previously, IT decision-making revolved around investing in technology that will bring fast results for the cheapest price available. IT management would seek out solutions that would cost them less when they signed the dotted line, and would make a difference to the business quickly and better than the previous systems in place. However, this mentality of receiving instant-gratification has transformed dramatically, particularly with the influx of highly configurable platforms and software that strive to do just about everything technology-related for your business. With so many new flexible options available, and so many services and solutions offering to take care of it all for you, priorities have taken a sharp turn. IT managers now prioritize things like long-term value, reliability, and are willing to spend those extra pennies to invest in something that will perform better over time.
The main challenge that more and more businesses face, and will continue to face, is the task of navigating the sea of technology solutions out there. There are so many different solutions to choose from, and deciding on a select few can be difficult. This can include things like cloud management software, IT Financial management software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), just to name a few. Several variations of these are also available, overlapping each other and offering different variations of each other. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) for example, was originally focused on merely seeking out billing discrepancies and reconciling your bills and contracts. Some TEM platforms have expanded to include many more services, such as IoT, IT cost, UCC, and cloud inventory management. Vendors are evolving with new services now more than ever, so seeking out the one that’s right for your business is going to be more challenging than it used to be.
Several new criteria have come into play, and are now being used to measure systems when making decisions. Businesses no longer want the fastest and easiest solutions, they want to see what will be the most valuable option all-around. In order for businesses to make the best possible decision, pulling the CIO’s values and the CFO’s values together is essential, and will make everyone happy throughout the process. While there might be a belief that the CIO and the CFO are total opposites, like Mars and Venus, they are more than capable of combining their goals in order to seek out the best possible technology investments. Both chief officers express a need to innovate the current flow of things, and to improve business efficiency. Both parties must go through a process of analyzing data and exploring potential outcomes before making any final decisions.
Some essential steps for the CIO and CFO to take in order to make effective decisions based on values proposed by both sides include:
- Analyze as a unit: Take the time to gather all of the data you need and more, but not before aligning financial and IT values. By combining and compromising needs expressed from both sides, you will be able to come up with a list of key benefits that your business is looking for when investing in technology. It’s essential for both ends of the spectrum to listen to each other in order to reach the best outcome for the business.
- Plan it out: Prepare your IT budget and your investment decisions in advance. By taking the time to map out and assess the costs and benefits of different solutions before the time comes for decision-making, you will be able to comfortably select technology that you know will be worthwhile.
- Understand timelines: Assessing large technology systems and expensive software is not going to happen overnight. Effective investments may take a while to compare and contrast, especially with the wave of “Everything-as-a-Service” platforms out there. Some solutions will offer assessments, checklists, or even demos to help you select what’s best for you. Coordinate between the CIO and the CFO in order to make these decisions and define your timeline.
- Smooth out the digital transition: When selecting which technologies your business should be investing in, think of the implementation phase and the long-term ROI as priorities. Consider things like cost savings, time savings, process efficiency, and so forth. Time spent during implementation must be assessed along with the benefits you’ll be getting. Long-term ROI can sometimes be worth a lengthy implementation process, but these decisions must be viewed from a financial as well as an IT perspective. In order for the other business units to understand IT decisions, the benefits that will be gained from new tools as well as the required investments must be clearly outlined.
Cimpl is a Telecom Expense Management software that can handle a variety of services for your business. We offer a centralized platform that provides the kind of asset management data, analysis, and workflows required for a CIO to make informed decisions. At the same time, Cimpl provides detailed reporting tools and cost data so that the CFO can collect the necessary information to make business-focused investments. We’re leading the revolution in IT, Telecom and Cloud expense management, and our three brand promises to our customers are 1) Save Money, 2) Save Time, and 3) Manage an accurate inventory. By promoting a culture of cost transparency and allocating costs, as well as through comparing contracts and rate plans and seeking out billing discrepancies, we continually save you money. Through automating a variety of everyday processes, we save up valuable time for your business that can be spent elsewhere. And finally, in collecting and managing an inventory of all your business’ assets, we help you keep track of everything you own. Cimpl provides a foundation for closing the gap between the CFO and CIO, so that organizations can stay on track for success.
If you’re interested or have questions about services offered by Cimpl, feel free to contact us.
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AUTHOR: Victoria Lewin