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How can accountants help IT?

by Stuart G Hall on 17.09.2008 05:31

It may sound counter-intuitive but can finance help IT become less technical? The clue to a postive answer appears in a recent FT report which detailed the way IT skills have changed as IT's role has become key to business success. Quoting from a Hays survey it found that: "The areas where senior IT executive's skills are found most wanting are: applying IT strategy for business benefit -- being able to 'walk the talk' -- and communicating IT issues to a non-IT audience." Fair enough you might say, but how might this change occur faced with the reality of corporate culture and politics?

For me the clue is perhaps in the final paragraph which suggested that while the survey found budget management was not traditionally the responsibility of senior IT staff, "perhaps in future, it should be". Hmm, perhaps I'm being a tad idealistic here but isn't there a more co-operative approach, with an opportunity for mutual gain with senior finance managers? After all finance managers need to better understand how IT strategy relates to business goals, and IT managers need financial expertise to win the costs deliver ROI argument. A bit more 'win, win' and a bit less costly conflict as a result?