26
Dec

Accenture publishes a study pointing to an expanded IT systems decision-making role for CFOs at many enterprise businesses

2-Color-Design-Hi-Res-100px-widthWith a publication date of December 29, 2014, Accenture released its annual High Performance Finance Study for 2014. The findings presented reinforce the notion of a changed decision-making hierarchy for IT systems and solutions within many enterprise businesses.

In my opinion, anyone with an interest in Microsoft should take a look at this report. The two core IT topics:

  • “complex legacy systems and environments”
  • and “[t]he rise of digital on the CFO agenda”

may provide two of the planks of a foundation beneath a joint effort between the two companies, apparently scheduled for 2015: Microsoft, Accenture partner on hybrid cloud offering.

The first of the IT topics presented in the report, “complex legacy systems and environments” make up the on-premises component of a typical hybrid cloud computing scenario. The second, “digital”, “which may include cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS), big data and/or analytics, mobility and social media” (quoted in entirety from an Annual report from Accenture. I have provided a link to the entire report, above), amounts to the other half of the hybrid computing solution.

As I wrote recently, Microsoft provided more of an indication of a shift in the route taken by examples of technology “innovation” as these improvements enter enterprise businesses (and their larger counterparts in the public and not-for-profit sectors) in a global roadshow intended to help these organizations hasten the rate at which they are adopting cloud, SaaS computing offers (with Office 365 as the leading offer from Microsoft in this space). For readers unfamiliar with this global event, the title of this event is “Microsoft Office 365 Summit”, which I attended in New York City in early October. Since the New York City event, Microsoft has held the same event in Sydney, Australia and even in Moscow, in Russia. The Keynote from the New York Show provided Microsoft with an opportunity to present the notion of enterprise IT organizations abdicating the “innovation” leadership role. The report from Accenture argues the Finance Organization has picked it up, although leadership apparently amounts to a lot more accomodation, and a lot less evangelizing new computing methods. Of course, given ubiquitous BYOD across most of these organizations, the changes make sense.

The task facing the CFO as new enterprise tech leader, if the Accenture report is credible (which I think is the case), is much more a matter of building the right container to house “innovation” than actually leading on it. The role is a good one for Finance, which, after all, has to pay the bills, anyways.

Ira Michael Blonder

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