After months of being the bearer of mostly bad news about IT spending, lightened by only an occasional sign of optimism, it's nice to share any glimmer of financial news that seems to bode well for IT.
When Robert Half Management Resources asked CFOs where they'd spend their dollars when the economy recovers, investing in new IT systems or upgrading existing ones got the biggest response, from 40 percent of the executives. In theory, this is a sign that CFOs recognize IT's ability to improve their businesses. That's the take offered by Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources:
As companies emerge from the recession and become more profitable, they will begin to focus on shoring up critical business applications and technology infrastructure. While finance executives may remain cautious about making bold new expenditures, they understand that updating their IT systems can help improve risk management, increase operational efficiency and ensure regulatory compliance.
Taking off my rose-colored glasses, I wonder whether it could signal that CFOs are dissatisfied with IT? This seems like a good time to revisit a post I wrote earlier this year, which offered advice for CIOs on how to communicate effectively with their CFOs. Tip: Use a lot of numbers.
To put an especially cynical spin on it, no one can seem to agree on how long the economy will take to recover.
Still I guess it's good to see IT mentioned when the second biggest percentage of CFOs, 19 percent, said they'd make no investments. The rest of the sample: new products or service lines (18 percent), new locations or real estate (14 percent), mergers or acquisitions (6 percent), other (2 percent) and don't know (1 percent). Of course, most of the other investments mentioned create additional work for IT.