Who’s IT’s boss? Probably Finance

It’s become increasingly rare for IT pros to be able to tell the company CFO: “You’re not the boss of me.”

In 42% of organizations, the top person in the IT department reports directly to the CFO, according to a survey from Gartner. That makes the CFO the most likely boss of IT.

Additionally, 53% of CFOs said they’d like to move to this reporting arrangement.

What this means for IT managers: It’s getting increasingly more important to be able to explain the value of IT investments in ways Finance folks can understand.

In other businesses, IT reports to the CEO (33%), the COO (16%), a chief admin officer (2%) and other officers (7%).

Take a look at our whitepaper on increasing IT spending for advice on communicating with your CFO or CEO.

  • IT Guy

    IT reports to Finance? Any reason why not vice versa?
    IT requires special education. Finance reqires special education. But they are different special educations.
    How would Finance Mgr be able to give any advice to its “subordinate”? How would he/she evaluate its “subordinate’s” performance?
    Doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Ivan

    “It’s getting increasingly more important to be able to explain the value of IT investments in ways Finance folks can understand”?
    I have Master’s degree in Computer Science and 2 certificates – MCSE and Cisco. Spent 7 years as a full time student studying Computer Science. And now someone suggests that I have to start using “baby language” to explain “how this thingy works” to some finance folks so they could manage me?
    Again, why exactly is it a good idea to give control over the vital part of the business to someone who has no clue what that is?
    Please spell it out for me. I don’t get it.

  • MarkG

    You must have a typo in this article.
    “In other businesses, IT reports to the CFO (33%), the COO (16%), a …”
    Something other than CFO should be in that sentence, or it makes no sense.

  • Anonymous

    I can perhaps understand an IT Director reporting to a CFO when there is no CIO. The assumption being they both have a head for numbers and logic, perhaps more so than a CEO who may be an entrepreneurial big picture guy. But a CIO should be a peer of a CFO and any enterprise of significant size whose bottom line is impacted by their technological prowess or presence needs a CIO.

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