The social CFO: adapting to today's technologies.

Author:Kilmer, Lee
Position:TECH STRATEGY - Chief financial officer

Information technology no longer resides as a single cost center isolated from the boardroom and its members. Today's successful organizations are creating an inclusive and cohesive culture where information technology (IT) is a strategic partner that influences and shapes both strategy and the direction of an organization.

Indeed, successful organizational leaders are empowered by the disruptive trends transforming the landscape of IT today. For example, trends such as mobility and social business are creating seismic shifts on scales that will inevitably open up new opportunities for doing business in previously unimaginable ways.

As a result, new competitors will emerge and former market leaders will quickly falter. Technology is a critical component and lever in the process, offering great potential and risk of failure--both in equal measure. If companies aren't prepared for this change, what's at stake may very well be the future of the company's business and brand.

The chief financial officer (CFOs) of long ago kept the books, reported on performance and made sure the bills got paid. Such a job description can now be classified as part of a "simpler time" as today's finance chiefs and chief information officers (CIOs) have a much bigger role to play in the boardroom--and with good reason.

Meeting unprecedented expectations and operating successfully in today's fast-evolving environment is no longer possible without one fundamental ingredient: technology.

Too often, however, existing solutions were put in place to meet requirements that became outdated years and, in some cases, decades ago. The very tools that should be empowering the finance department are instead shackling it to old processes and ways of doing business that have become unsustainable.

At the same time, groundbreaking technologies that can fundamentally change the way finance departments work are becoming readily available. Today, both mobility and social media are being used by forward-thinking companies to drive growth, attract top talent and adapt to an increasingly global world.


It's hard to deny the growing power of social media and mobile technology. Now firmly entrenched across sweeping areas of personal lives, these technologies are also being adopted in the business world in new, game-changing ways that can be particularly challenging for CFOs.

Mobility no longer means just checking an email or calendar when...

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