UPFRONT : The right IQ?

A communication gulf of planetary dimensions lies between the respective heads of finance and information departments in many of the world’s leading organisations.
That’s according to Deloitte survey which questioned the practices of 450 organisations (140 in Australia and New Zealand) and found the operational relationship between chief financial officers (CFOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) was like that between Venus and Mars. Nearly one fifth (18 percent) described the two departments as “wholly independent groups that have an arm’s length relationship”.
Half the survey respondents cite disparate, non-integrated IT systems and variability of business processes as an “acute problem”. Just one in 10 claim to have achieved satisfactory corporate information quality (IQ). The rest are still searching for the right information through their disparate IT systems and business processes or are wrestling with multiple versions of the truth, information overload and irrelevant performance metrics, says the Deloitte partner Thorsten Engel, who led the New Zealand research.
“Where CFOs and CIOs appeared to have most in common was where the CIO reported to the CFO. But this did not necessarily mean that all or any of the barriers to information quality were overcome.”
While there’s no single right answer for how the two roles and responsibilities mesh, their collaboration is crucial to enhancing information quality and driving business success, says Engel.
Those organisations that fit into the “IQ achiever” group report their management teams are better able to manage and proactively improve operations, implement or consolidate IT systems and deal with organisational change. Amongst local companies, 82 percent believe timely access to better quality information would improve profitability.
Deloitte says the findings show that timely access to the right information can contribute to the bottom line. Most businesses are starting to realise information is collective responsibility and should not just be left up to IT.

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