Content thumbnail Partnering for Performance Part 3

Transitioning to a digital IT function A strong relationship between finance and IT is critical. CFOs must ensure digital IT is focused on profitable growth and shareholder value. And CIOs Digital America must bring the understanding of what new technologies can do. “At Cigna, the In the US, 39% of CFOs make digital IT a very high priority, significantly IT function has been a catalyst and instigator for change, as opposed to just exceeding other countries. This reflects the US’s role in driving digital reacting to needs and being an order-taker,” says Boxer. “However we also innovation, particularly from Silicon Valley. The success of US tech giants, recognize that not every good idea is going to come organically from inside such as Amazon and Facebook, has created a strong digital ecosystem. our own IT shop. Delivering digital capabilities in a repeatable fashion requires Since the beginning of 2009, venture capital firms have deployed more creative partnerships and new delivery models.” than US$31b in more than 3,300 deals in tech startups based in the 4 Whiteing emphasizes the essential role the CIO can play: “If you look at the Silicon Valley (CrunchBase research). problems that businesses will face in the future, requiring a cost-effective, Chart 14: Regions where CFOs cite “Transitioning the IT function into high-quality resolution, the majority of solutions will invariably involve a digital world” as a very high priority. technology,” he says. Americas 28% “When you look at executives on boards, their apprenticeships were in anything but technology. But an ability to understand the technology, Asia-Pacific 21% implement it, and extract value out of it is crucial.” Europe, Middle East, 18% 2. Plot a way out of the legacy trap India and Africa Most major organizations are not embarking on digital with a blank sheet of Chart 15: Countries where CFOs cite “Transitioning the IT function into paper. They have legacy systems that are embedded in the business. Legacy a digital world” as a very high priority. IT and the “technical debt” of unproductive and inefficient technology can be US 39% a significant barrier. For example, it can prevent the organization from gaining a single view of Brazil 29% the customer, because data is locked into various systems spread across organization silos. India 27% Companies will still need to work with some legacy systems over the coming Mexico 26% years, so they will need to balance the hybrid environment of old and new, while gradually retiring legacy systems. China 26% UK 18% Australia 17% 4. “America leads the way in technological innovation,” Raconteur website,, 9 October 2014. Partnering for performance Part 3: the CFO and the CIO 30

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