Forrester: Finance and IT must work more closely


8th April 2003 Chief financial officers (CFOs) and IT directors must work more closely together if they are to achieve better corporate visibility, said analysts at research group Forrester at its annual European Leadership Forum in Amsterdam.

New legislation in the US and Europe, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, along with new accounting regulations, particularly the International Accounting Standard (IAS), mean that organisations will require constant visibility of data passing through enterprise systems and how that data impacts business performance.

This will require a significant investment led by both finance and IT departments, said Forrester. According to a survey released at the event, 63% of top-level executives believe poor data availability and analysis leads them to make bad business decisions.

Speaking at the conference Guy Haddleton, CEO of financial planning software company Adaytum, which was acquired by business intelligence vendor Cognos in December 2002, said: “In many organisations, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing. Companies need an enterprise nervous system. CFOs are now taking more control of the IT budget and how it’s spent.”

But aligning IT more closely to finance may prove a challenge for some organisations. According to another Forrester survey, more than one-third of CFOs said their biggest challenge with IT was that it rarely lived up to its promise. A further 13% said they saw little value from IT spending.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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