When the CIO is also the CFO
Is it smart management or a recipe for disaster when one executive is both CIO and CFO?
Computerworld - IT exec Jeremy Hopkins has a bit more on his plate these days than some of his colleagues in high tech. Hopkins is the CIO at World Telecom Group in Malibu, Calif., a job that keeps him hopping.
And he's also the CFO.
It's an unusual situation, but one Hopkins feels was necessary to quickly get the company up to speed as it grew toward $10 million in annual revenue without a clear technology budget or the type of IT strategy common at more mature companies.
"It was clear that there really had to be a lot of coordination and communication between the financial model and the data model," says Hopkins, who was hired as part of a push by leadership to get the company to the next level of revenue and growth. "For a company that needs to undergo rapid change quickly, this is a good fit."
Like other executives who find themselves carrying a dual CIO-CFO title, Hopkins fell into the position through an unusual set of circumstances. Before taking on the CFO-CIO job in July of 2010, he had worked as a consultant with World Telecom for a year, advising officials on tech issues because the company didn't have an IT leader at the time.
Then the CFO resigned. Hopkins, who has an MBA and some finance experience, stepped up and proposed the joint position as a way to move the company forward quickly.
The dual appointment gives him flexibility to maneuver fast and make decisions without getting bogged down by the "necessary investments vs. fiscal constraint" debate that often arises between CIOs and CFOs, Hopkins says.
His dual position is rare but not unique, industry watchers say.
Other organizations that have merged the two jobs into one find that the combined position can offer important benefits, provided it fits the business's circumstances.
"This is a growing trend, and I think it's a positive step," declares Ron Box, CFO and CIO at Joe Money Machinery Co., a Birmingham, Ala.-based company that sells and rents construction equipment. Box has put in the time to make that assessment: He has held both positions simultaneously for five years.
Bullish as he is on the arrangement, Box acknowledges that he didn't set out to be a dual-title holder. He started with the company in the finance department 16 years ago and moved up to the CFO spot after about six years.
Jim Money, vice president, general manager and director at the family-owned enterprise, says that he and other leaders came to believe several years ago that the company was lagging when it came to technology.
The IT department was able to keep the computers humming, but it didn't have the wherewithal to focus on strategy. "There was no one who could look at a three- or five-year business plan and say, 'These are the IT resources I think we should include in our projects,'" says Box.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Something-something “LASER” something-something-something.
The MtGox Bitcoin exchange is bankrupt. Not a huge surprise, but insiders are also alleging chronic incompetence within the company, flowing from the CEO, Mark Karpeles. Supposed hackers have also leaked some PHP code that appears to substantiate those allegations. But could it all be an elaborate ruse to steal customers'
MtGox Co., Ltd. is now aiming for "civil rehabilitation" in a Tokyo District Court (similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.).
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers release the frickin’ ill-tempered, mutated sea bass.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Accelerating Speed to Market in the Highly Competitive Automotive Industry
- This White Paper discusses how an Enterprise Project Portfolio Management solution optimizes project analysis, management, reporting and risk mitigation processes to accelerate new...
- ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business
- View IDC's White Paper, to review IDC CloudTrack Survey findings, gain expert insight into the challenges and opportunities the cloud presents, and determine...
- Financial Security: What smaller Institutions can learn from DDoS attacks on big banks
- Since last fall, several waves of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have targeted major players in the U.S. banking industry. JPMorgan Chase,...
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses
- IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions... All Financial IT White Papers
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- All Financial IT Webcasts