Who Should Oversee IT?


A recent presentation on the difference between CIOs reporting to CEOs or CFOs yielded another call to arms for IT shops. Our recent presentation, Who's the Better IT Boss? CEO of CFO?, looked at the strategic and operational disparities Forrester Research found between IT leaders reporting to the chief executive or the top financial officer.

One of our readers immediately called for businesses to stop thinking about IT as an expense, but rather as a strategic enabler. That call to action isn't new, but it puts the CIO's reporting structure into better perspective, especially when asking whether he/she should report to the CEO or CFO.

"The role of an IT organization is NOT to generate financial reports, but to leverage the operation of the business," Regis writes. "This is so far from the responsibilities of the CFO it is scary when people consider putting the CIO under the CFO."

Regis also says there's validity in the argument for having CIOs report to finance, but he largely points to the necessity for IT chiefs to answer straight to the top.

So what do you think? Is your IT shop better off under the CEO's supervision? Or should the CFO be the boss?

(Also, for more on the CIO reporting structure, check out Temple professor Rajiv Banker's thoughts.)


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