Questions CFO Should Ask the CIO about IT Support

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June 30, 2015
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7 Questions your CFO should be asking the CIO

When it comes to your company’s IT Support, your CIO is the go to. Sometimes though, the CIO’s mind is not in the financial, IT budget kind of place. Sometimes, the IT mind can be more interested in the latest and greatest technology and how the company should integrate it, instead of how much it could cost the company. Especially, if the latest and greatest doesn’t work out. This is where the CFO and CIO have to partner together to become one in the decision making process for your company. It is very important for the CFO to understand the quickly changing world of IT infrastructure, so he or she can help influence the IT Support decisions on a budget stand point.

Here is a list of 7 learning points / questions that your CFO should know and ask your CIO about IT Support:

1. Vendors – What is more economical for our company, one vendor or multiple vendors?
Some companies like to integrate one vendor in their IT infrastructure and stay loyal to that company, others like to have multiple coincide together. Sometimes with multiple vendors, things can get confused and leave holes for breaches and other problems.
2. Disaster Recovery – Do we have plans for if we have a major data loss or severe issue?
This is huge. Disaster Recovery plans are a necessity to every company. If a disaster occurred and the company had no disaster plan, the company can lose millions of dollars in recon; maybe causing the company to go out of business.
3. Compliance – Are all of our IT infrastructures in compliance?
Most compliance requirements are for security reasons. It is important to make sure you are up to date and in line with all security procedures. If you are not, the company can be issued many expensive fines or worse.
4. Migration Costs – What kind of migration costs are involved?
Many companies are migrating over to the cloud. There are many types of clouds that a company can buy into (public, private, etc.) and with different costs. Also, if your company has custom programs and software, these could cost more for migration.
5. Company Demand and Server Utilization – Are the servers utilized to our best capacity?
When demand for data computing is up, you should purchase more servers and increase your utilization. Most companies only utilize their servers up to 15%. What could your company do to utilize your servers? Standardizing, virtualizing, different data center?
6. Data Storage – Do we properly manage our data?
Data Storage can be easily be improperly optimized. There are ways to change your retention policies and logs so less data is stored and you can utilize the unused. Together, the CFO and CIO should review and reoptimize the storage.
7. Do we need to invest in technology to reduce IT labor?
This one can be hard for the CIO. It is not always the easiest topic, but sometimes it is more budget efficient to look into new technology so you can cut costs on your IT labor.

Efficient and effective use of technology is one of the most powerful tools for a company to increase profitability. Together, the CFO and CIO can make all the right decisions to fully optimize your IT Support and IT budget.

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