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Singapore – CFOs hold sway over IT investments

05 November 2013

For many people, the worlds of accounting and technology have little in common. However, a new survey reveals that Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance Directors in Singapore have more control over IT decisions than anywhere else in the world.

The survey by recruitment firm Robert Half asked 2,075 CFOs and Finance Directors in 14 countries about the role they play in technology decisions within a company. Of those surveyed, 150 came from Singapore.

The survey found that in 50% of Singapore companies, it was the CFO or Finance Director who is the main or primary decision make on information technology issues, not the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). This was the highest percentage of any of the 14 countries surveyed, and well above the global average of 40%.

While finance leaders clearly have significant power over IT decisions, Singapore's finance and IT teams are among the most collaborative of any country in the world.

According to the survey, 83% of respondents cite an increase in collaboration between the IT and finance teams during the last three years, as compared to the 61% global average.  

When asked about the benefits of closer collaboration between finance and IT, the respondents cited improved efficiency (67%), increased profitability (48%) and lower business costs (23%). 

Ms Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half in Singapore, said many companies still see IT as a cost to business, so they assign responsibility for decisions to the finance team. "Singapore companies appear to have developed their own approach to making IT decisions.  Finance has a much greater responsibility for IT decisions, based on a more collaborative approach between the finance and IT teams." 

"What is clear from the survey is that finance professionals in Singapore need to keep up to date with trends in technology.  The finance leaders of tomorrow need to get a lot more involved in the IT aspects of their company's business if they are to effectively use their decision-making power," Ms Tang concluded.

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