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CFOs Make the IT Decisions in Nearly Half of Businesses, Says Gartner

The chief financial officer is becoming the top technology decision maker in around half of businesses, according to Gartner research.

The analyst house has published the results of its Financial Executives International (FEI) Technology Study, which shows that more IT organisations report to the CFO than to any other executive function or role.

According to the study, 42 percent of IT organisations report to the CFO. In 45 percent of organisations the CFO leads the technology investment strategy, by being the sole decision maker (7 percent), or leading a team that makes technology/IT decisions (38 percent).

The CFO has potentially more clout in IT investment decisions than the CIO, said Gartner. The CFO alone authorises 26 percent of all IT investments, and 51 percent when combined with the CIO.

Gartner said applications and analytics are the top CFO investment priorities. The analyst said firms should learn to understand the impact their CFO has on technology decisions, and ensure the CFO was provided with the appropriate understanding of technology, communicating the business value that can be achieved from IT.

"Understand that the CFO views the impact on business process and business enablement as the top technology issues," said Gartner analyst John Van Decker. "Therefore, applications and analytics are the top investment priorities, and the enabling technologies that support these initiatives need to be viewed as equally important."

The study was based on 344 responses to approximately 50 questions that covered senior finance managers' views of technology.

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