Finance executives have significant influence over technology spending and acquisition decisions in companies the world over, with CFOs and finance directors in Singapore exercising the greatest percentage of such power, results of a survey done in 14 countries by the specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half, indicated.
Senior finance executives who exercised primary decision making in their companies over IT investments, projects, and initiatives registered an overall average of 40 percent for all the countries surveyed. Singapore’s percentage topped the list with 50 percent making these decisions, not the chief technology officer.
Average overall percentage of finance executives who said they exercised no influence at all on decisions over their company’s IT spending was one percent; Singapore’s, zero percent.
Other countries surveyed were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The sample size consisted of 2,750 CFOs and finance directors from all the 14 countries with 150 respondents from Singapore.
IT spending leverage
Survey participants responded to questions on the kind of leverage they exercised over their companies’ IT spending and acquisitions, namely: primary decision making, secondary decision making, consultative, budget approval only, and none.
The overall percentage for financial executives exercising consultative influence for IT decisions was 18 percent, but Singapore registered nine percent.
Commenting on the results, Robert Half director for Singapore Stella Teng said companies still view IT as a cost to business. Thus, the finance team’s strong influence on IT spending decisions.
Senior finance executives in six other countries—France (49 percent), Brazil (47 percent) , Austria (44 percent), Switzerland (44 percent), Germany (43 percent), and Belgium (41 percent)—registered percentages above the overall percentage of respondents exercising primary decision making power on their companies’ IT spending and acquisition activities.
Other overall percentage results were the following: secondary decision making (30 percent) and budget approval only (three percent).
Singapore’s percentages for these categories were the following: secondary decision making (39 percent) and budget approval only (three percent).
“The finance leaders of tomorrow need to get a lot more involved in the IT aspects of their company’s business if they are to effectively use their decision making power,” Teng said with specific reference to Singapore.
But the observation applies also to finance executives elsewhere.
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