05 December 2019

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Drawing a Thin Line Between CIO & CFO

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The small businesses must have to act smartly. This smartness is needed in each and every action of business but when it comes to the management decisions, it becomes vital to look at the available resources and come up with a smart approach towards the live business issues for real business scenarios.

Although this is a versatile subject and have relevance in every aspect of business but in this article we focus on technology.

The management’s smart approach could be considered if they bring in more transparency between the finance department, the purchase department and the IT department. And this transparency should reflect better and quicker decision making processes. It is not as simple as this statement seems. In simpler words in a typical small business environment it could not be wrong if difference between a CIO and a CFO becomes lesser.

However, I know some examples when both these functionalities are handled by one person.

But there is a catch here, when the CEO or the top boss himself tries to take control of all the major responsibilities it becomes a complex situation for the company as such.

So, ideally there has to be a well defined role and responsibilities which will make a smarter business process within the organization. This, however, also becomes an evidence of growth for the small business.

Coming over to technology as an area, it is required to have a dedicated approach towards it. It is important that the functional heads of other departments should have a clear understanding of technology for their business area.

In some business cases CIOs and CFOs and even CEOs share responsibilities with each other. In those cases it is important to define a clear orchestration between the key job roles like CIOs and CFOs.

Although it is clear that there has to be a lot of coordination and communication between these important functionaries in order to streamline the business processes. Advocates of such operational scenario also feels that this is a workable model. Because of the fact that a growing company needs to undergo rapid changes and quick decision making is required, so such multi-functionality by an individual professional is essential.

Like other executives who find themselves carrying a dual CIO-CFO title, Hopkins fell into the position through an unusual set of circumstances. Before taking on the CFO-CIO job in July of 2010, he had worked as a consultant with World Telecom for a year, advising officials on tech issues because the company didn't have an IT leader at the time.

Among US companies, specially from the small and mid sized segment, this trend is taking huge upsurge.

Indian SMEs are also not untouched with this trend. Delhi NCR based Azhar Khan of Engineering Solutions company believes, “I feel that the limitation of being a growing company is to retain and acquire skilled and experienced manpower. I feel that It would be a reason to smile for us, if my CIO can handle our finance management as well. Although I also believe that as of now, this combination is hardly available but this can surely be a great value to the company.”

Like Mr Khan, there are several entrepreneurs who would like to have some multi-taskers in their top management team so that they not only save big money in the manpower management but the business processes should also get groomed. “We understand that multi-taskers are usually not readily available. In that case, the business owner has to invest his resources in grooming the professional. But in this approach there is a certain amount of risk that the entrepreneur must have to be ready to take,” says Mr Khan.

According to Mr Anil Ranjan, an HR consultant, “We do have witnessed this trend in which management of small and mid sized companies have shown interest in grooming multi tasking among the senior employees. This often reflects multi departmental working modalities.”

The way importance of technology is growing across industries, the criticality of CIOs and CFOs are also becoming higher day by day among businesses. The entrepreneur must have to acknowledge this change and must have to act smart to tackle this situation. The smartest was could be to develop multi tasking among his team. But this multitasking should be blended up to the limit that best quality of work output can be achieved.



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