Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Best Practices for CFOs to Stay Current in Technology



Just as every professional knows, chief financial officers also find it increasingly challenging to stay up-to-date on technology.

Up-to-date technology means CFOs can better do their jobs.

CFOs have to make certain they stay current on regulatory compliance requirements, leveraging so-called big data, and recruit and retain tech-savvy personnel.

ID-10056727 Stuart MilesIt’s important to manage cloud-based hosting and software for accounting functions, business intelligence, data-mining, data security, and enterprise resource planning.

Here are eight tips and links to other informative articles:

1. Have a strong awareness of the capabilities provided by the latest technologies

This means knowing the big picture – understanding how tech affects their business. By extension, it means communicating effectively with information-technology professionals in-and-out of the company.

2. Recruit and retain employees who are current on technology

The right employees will keep you and your responsibilities relevant now and for sustainability for years to come.

3. Keep learning

Attend the right seminars on contemporary and evolving technology. Consider credible online learning options. An excellent learning source is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Remember you’re not terminally unique – other CFOs have faced the same dilemmas as you.

4. Have information delivered to you

You can easily arrange for RSS feeds and alerts based on specific keywords. You have countless options.

5. Become a member of technology-user groups.

Remember you’re not terminally unique – other CFOs have faced the same dilemmas as you. By enrolling in such groups, you can engage and monitor applicable technology discussions.

6. Network with other CFOs using your technologies

Your acquaintances at other firms will lead to solutions. Other CFOS will more readily understand your perspective as a user – not as a vendor who wants to profit by selling you systems.

7. Stay current on the big picture

Not only is it a good idea to talk with CFOs who use your technologies, keep an open mind. Continually search for new sources of information.

This means chatting CFOs not in your industry or who use the same technologies as you. In this way, you’ll get a broader perspective to learn and implement strategies.

8. Develop a dynamic relationship with your chief information officer

Consider ways to partner with your CIO. Avoid miscommunication by holding regular meetings.

Naturally, it’s vital to merge your IT investments into your firm’s business strategies. There must be a clear line-of-sight so that investments in technology lead to profitable business outcomes.

Help your CIO to become a business problem-solving professional. The CIO most know the issues you face what the face of success looks like. Your organization needs a key person with pro-active business acumen for strategic planning.

If the person isn’t making timely recommendations for efficiencies, know that you’re not alone. CEOs have long complained about information technology. They complain about high-priced consultants, and that IT projects are too expensive and fail to yield a return on investment.

That’s why two studies indicate the need for IT pros to get businesslike. If you’re not benefiting from your CIO, then a change must be made.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies:

Strategic Challenges — What’s a CFO to Do about Sustainable Growth? — Sustainable growth ranks as global companies’ No. 1 strategic planning challenge – in which chief financial officers will be playing a major role, says a study.  Global executives say sustainable growth is their most salient planning challenge and their chief financial officers will help lead the effort.

Executives Target 5 Technology Threats to Company Value — Corporate executives see new strategic risks as a result of technological changes — from big data and cloud computing to social media  — according to a 2013 global Deloitte survey. Deloitte queried more than 300 executives, risk managers and board members — 81 percent said their strategic-management focus has evolved with technology.

Best Practices to Capitalize on Business Intelligence — In the majority of situations BI isn’t effectively used to identify and create opportunities for sustainable growth, according to Forrester Research. Here are the best practices in BI.

Tech Planning: What If There’s Another Downturn? — Technology-research firm Gartner recommends in a study that chief information officers should get ready for another downturn. That requires planning.

Software Technology Trends – What’s Next on the Radar Screen? — The software industry has undergone dynamic changes as it continues to modernize. What about the future? Where are we headed in software technology?

Increase Your Business Value with 5 Basic BPO Strategies — For your company to achieve higher performance, you often need to enhance your business processes. In essence, this means turning your attention to business process optimization (BPO), which is a holistic approach. The benefits: With BPO, you’ll be able to evaluate and authenticate your existing practices and create new processes via imagined situations.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Albert Einstein


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.