The joint study, by Gartner and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), surveyed 255 CFOs to uncover IT investment sentiment and decision making practices, uncovering that as economic uncertainty continues, CFOs are gaining more control. The highest response, 44%, indicated an increase in influence over IT investments during the past year, while a mere 9% believe their influence has diminished.
The role of the CFO in this frugal environment: to assure that precious investments are low risk / high reward and are perfectly aligned with realizing business objectives. Survey results were split in that 41% of CFOs are now the leader of the group responsible for IT investments, while 41% indicated were part of a stakeholder group responsible for collaborative IT decision making.
For IT solution providers, the expanding influence of the CFO means that engagement is more difficult, involving more stakeholders with expanding control, but also critical in order to influence early strategy and budget justification, answering key buyer questions of “Why Change?” and “Why Now?”, and vendor competitive selection and financial approval, delineating “Why You?”.
As CFOs tend to be more risk averse logical thinkers, they require financial proof points and tangible justification in their decision making process. Our advice: to engage CFOs sales and marketing needs to clearly quantify:
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Additional information is in the Gartner report "Top 10 Findings from 2012 Gartner FEI CFO Technology Study" available at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2018115.