While there are a myriad of new technology platforms available to CFOs in high growth businesses, it can be difficult (and expensive) to invest in and deploy multiple technologies that may or may not help your organization acheive your growth goals.
In November 2014, The CFO RoundTable NYC hosted “Managing High Growth: The Risks, Rewards and ROI of Technology Investments,” where are expert panel reviewed the sometimes misunderstood (or unknown) risks and rewards in deploying new technologies, the technologies that can give the longest runway for your business, and the best practices in applying metrics and measuring ROI to new technology investments.
You Are Responsible For Where Your Data Is: As the CFO of your company, ensuring the security of your data ultimately rests on you. Because of this, many IT departments or outsourced IT firms now report directly to the CFO. Further, as it’s easier than ever for employees to download or create accounts with freeware sites (Tumblr, Pixlr, etc.), many CFOs have created approval policies that all software, regardless of its price, must go through the CFO for approval. As your organization grows, it might also be worthwhile to set up company committees to review all software used.
Good Governance Leads To Strategic Growth: If you’re a startup, you most likely are using tools such as Zoho, Dropbox, Quickbooks, Expensify, WordPress, etc. However, as your company grows and becomes more complex, so too do the tools that you utilize. Practicing governance with your IT infrastructure will give you a strategic roadmap for the types of tools you will need to help scale your growth. Further, as a best practice, before deploying new technologies into your IT infrastructure, be sure to test the systems thoroughly to uncover any flaws or potential issues.
Driving Adoption Shouldn’t Be Expensive: As stated by our panelists, “if you have to spend a lot of time and money getting your employees to use your new systems, you’re doing it wrong.” While complex systems certainly require a level of training and supervision, it shouldn’t cost you more than what you paid for your original system. To avoid this, make sure to survey your clients and employees while scoping your project for ease of use concerns, current data entry practices and signs of potential concern.
Don’t Outsource Chaos: Finally, if you decide to utilize outsourcing as part of your IT model, our panelists urged CFOs to never outsource problems. Rather, keep the projects small, never strategic or anything that has restrictions, and has clear metrics and instructions for success.
Photos and More Information
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