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Ten IT Talking Points Your CFO Will Love

Irwin Teodoro/CTO Edge

I have nothing against CFOs. It’s a tough position with a lot of pressures that can easily be misunderstood. That being said, it is the money people who generally stand in the way of engineers and technologists and the spending required to accomplish great things with IT.

It is a common problem we all have – dealing with accounting, the CFO or other non-IT management. Of course, our running joke is that the CFO thinks of technology as a $499 PC they can pick up at Staples or OfficeMax. They don’t understand why $29 billion is collectively used to power and cool IT infrastructure: 50 cents for every dollar spent on servers.

But they do understand the “space crunch” that IT manifests at $2,400 a server, and $40,000 a rack at $1,000 a square foot. They see the money going out the door. Then they read about “server sprawl” and the $140 billion in excess server capacity available in the U.S. – a three-year supply. No wonder they get so upset: “You’re spending how much? On what?”

So we walk away with the feeling that they simply don’t get IT. But some of the problem belongs with us — we don’t communicate in the language of the CFO. And because we don’t, we shouldn’t act surprised when we get pushback on spending requests. This needs to change. Here are 10 areas where we, as the promoters of IT, can begin to communicate better with the CFO.

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