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CIO-CFO Collaboration Fuels Business Transformation


Workday and Deloitte Global have announced the results of their joint global survey exploring how digital acceleration — prompted by the pandemic — has influenced the thinking of chief information officers (CIOs) worldwide.

The research finds that CIOs are helping to lead finance transformation and shifting strategies to meet evolving business and technology demands, with 70% of CIOs surveyed having accelerated their finance transformation strategies by at least a year.

The report, “A More Effective CIO-CFO Partnership,” is based on a survey of more than 600 executives worldwide. Findings reveal that individuals referred to as Progressive CIOs, which represent just 8% of the total sample, take a specific approach to enterprise finance transformation and behave differently than their peers with regard to mindset, collaboration, and technology strategy.

CIOs and IT leaders are facing increased pressures to adapt and accelerate their digital strategies — without disrupting critical business operations. As a result, Progressive CIOs have built strategic alliances across their organizations, with 90% of Progressive CIOs reporting that their IT departments are much more integrated into other areas of the business than they were 12 months ago.

Progressive CIOs support finance transformation in three key areas, including:

  • Leveraging data to fuel decision-making: Progressive CIOs prioritize data aggregation and data management and understand that building effective data use is critical. Nearly all Progressive CIOs (92%) say that “aggregating enterprise finance data into a single source of truth is their top priority.”
  • Collaborating with finance to drive transformation: When it comes to enterprise finance transformation, there can be serious financial implications when misalignment between IT and the finance function occurs. Eighty-three percent of Progressive CIOs stated that “we will miss our growth targets unless the IT and finance functions work more closely.”
  • Adopting an agile, incremental cloud approach to transformation: Progressive CIOs recognize that modernization cannot be done at the expense of the business. Over half (54%) of Progressive CIOs (compared to 37% of the total sample) are more likely to incrementally deploy capabilities in an end-to-end cloud strategy to modernize their firms’ legacy enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs), minimizing disruption while executing advanced digital initiatives.


“Our research shows that Progressive CIOs are focusing on IT-finance collaboration, agile execution, and developing the right data capabilities, equipping them to accelerate finance transformation and drive strategic business results,” said Sheri Rhodes, chief information officer, Workday.

“Modernizing and automating finance operations has become a — if not the — key digital initiative for today’s enterprises, underscoring the importance of the CIO and CFO relationship in order to meet business goals.”

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