CIO and CFO – Building a relationship of trust and communication

David Tidey, CIO, Richmond & Wandsworth Councils

We chat with David Tidey about how managing upwards, building the relationship and trust between the CIO and CFO, can contribute to the transformation agenda.

Quote:

“It’s about trying to talk their language, you’ve got to understand the numbers, the figures, what IT costs and the payback of investing in IT. If you’re doing standard stuff, like implementing Office 365 across an organisation, they’ll see a big cost, so they’ll want to see the benefits. You need to put it in terms they understand, investing in tech is not about getting new shiny stuff, it’s about changing the way your workforce may work, being more mobile, being more flexible, more responsive, improving the way the organisation communicates.”

1’13

Everyone says IT is getting simpler with cloud and you can outsource all your problems. But actually the things you can do with IT are becoming more complex and they’re reaching into more areas of the business. So the CFO is thinking, ‘why are my staff being replaced with AI and bots. I think they’re quite challenged by the rate of change in technology.

2’28

A lot of people want to invest in technology, but want payback in return. Often that engagement with the business, what a business case could look like is quite challenging. You may be talking about staff that needs to be reduced. They want the investment and they want the efficiencies, but they’re often not prepared to give up the headcount and change the way they’ve done business.

3’19

It’s about trying to talk their language, you’ve got to understand the numbers, the figures, what IT costs and the payback of investing in IT. If you’re doing standard stuff, like implementing Office 365 across an organisation, they’ll see a big cost, so they’ll want to see the benefits. You need to put it in terms they understand, investing in tech is not about getting new shiny stuff, it’s about changing the way your workforce may work, being more mobile, being more flexible, more responsive, improving the way the organisation communicates.

6’08

It’s all about the people, you’ve got to get out there and win the trust of the senior managers in the organisation. To influence the CFO, speak to their direct reports, talk to the chief accountant, talk to the people who are running the lines of business within finance, so when they speak to the CFO, they’re saying good things about IT. You’ve got to work around the CFO, make sure the people around him are comfortable with you in your role and that you’re delivering.

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