CFOs and CMOs Trump CIOs

This is a controversy that just might give the CPA vs. non-CPA controversy a run for its money.

First it was the Chief Financial Officer driving COOs out of their jobs. We’ve seen that evolving for about 5 years now. That trend is continuing as the operational CFO, especially with a CPA/MBA, is a very high-value target.

For almost a year now, I’ve been reading how the CIO was becoming an increasingly rare breed. A few of those articles included …

— Was the CIO necessary?

“There are three very real and current challenges that are the big reasons for demoting the CIO.”

— Couldn’t / shouldn’t the CIO report to the CFO rather than the CEO?

“New research shows that many CFOs are making a power play to take more control of IT.”

— Does the top IT guy really need a seat at the table?

Those who argue that there will always be a need for a CIO don’t understand how many CEOs are asking why this position needs to be part of the executive team…. Perhaps most telling, one in six CIOs are only ‘consulted’ or have no role at all in setting IT strategy, according to the report.”

But this perspective by Larry Tierman is sure to stir the pot even more.

the executive role of the CIO that will be diminished and likely eliminated at many companies. While the title of CIO will survive at some companies, fewer CIOs will serve on the highest-level executive team, initiate technology changes to improve the customer experience and profitability, and drive innovation. Those CIOs will report to the CFO, COO, or CMO.

Interestingly, a SmartBrief CFO poll question about a year ago around whether companies were using the cloud generated these results:

Yes – 21%
No, but we will be by the end of the year – 15%
No and I don’t see the value – 40%
What’s the cloud? – 24%

Notice those last two responses? That is 64% of the respondents. Those stats are certainly not reflective of CFOs who are embracing new media with the goal of usurping the strategic role of the CIO.

CFO-Coach QR Code
CFO-Coach QR Code

Job security for the Finance Chief just continues to grow. But if you want to continue evolving from overseeing operations to also being “the” technology decision-maker in your organization, you must come into the 21st Century and begin embracing the new media.

The next hottest CFO candidate will be both operationally AND technology-focused.

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2 thoughts on “CFOs and CMOs Trump CIOs”

  1. Cindy,

    I have often argued on my blog and elsewhere that finance folks need to learn tech skills, as familiarity with how it works goes a long way towards a) understanding processes and procedures, b) how to improve them, c) asking relevant and intelligent questions, and 4) innovate.

    Thanks for the post. Back to learning Python…


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