Google survey: CFOs set to have a bigger say in IT decisions

By Stuart Sumner
29 Mar 2012 View Comments

CFOs are set to become more involved in IT decisions, according to a new survey commissioned by Google.

The survey, carried out by research agency Vanson Bourne, showed that half of respondents believe that increased levels of cloud adoption will result in the closer involvement of the CFO in areas more traditionally reserved for the CIO.

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According to Google, this reflects the perception in the boardroom that IT has become more central to the business since the advent of cloud computing.

Two-thirds of the 100 senior UK financial decision makers surveyed believe the cloud increases the IT department's contribution to corporate strategy.

A similar proportion (69 per cent) of those surveyed believe that cloud computing increases the IT department's ability to innovate.

The findings also suggest that the cloud is becoming a more feasible proposition for large enterprises, some of whom in the past have been reluctant to allow their data to be stored off-premise because of security and jurisdictional fears.

A majority of enterprises (68 per cent) said that their company has either already implemented cloud services or has plans to.

Thomas Davies, head of Google Enterprise for the UK and Ireland, said that he increasingly finds himself in conversation with all members of the C-suite rather than purely CIOs.

"To date, enterprise cloud adoption has been largely driven by the IT function. However, today we see ourselves having more discussions with CFOs, COOs and CEOs," said Davies.

"The strategically significant role [cloud] can play within an organisation in terms of driving innovation and productivity is making it an increasingly attractive option for businesses that want to remain competitive and agile.

"The fact that 93 per cent of surveyed CFOs believed that cloud computing would be important to the success of their company in the next year to 18 months underlines that the board has woken up to the benefits of the cloud."

The survey was conducted in January this year.

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