How to Improve the Relationship Between Technology and Finance

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Highlight Where Flexibility Is Available

You’ll run into many projects that demand a specific solution, such as replacing elderly hardware. However, many challenges can also be met with a variety of actions, and it’s rare that there really is only one solution to a problem.

While it’s very tempting to assert that the solution that you and your team agree on is the superior option, the finance department has to weigh the decision against very different factors. While they will always defer to the team they’re purchasing a product for to guide them on the most robust and useful solution, they’ll also have to factor in the investment of time (for installation, training and any other preliminary activities) and money, any legal requirements that may be relevant, and standards that must be adhered to. If there are options that would be acceptable, make sure to include them in your pitch, with an explanation of pros and cons.

Growing a technology company isn’t only about raising new capital – it’s about wisely spending the resources you already have. No company of any size is immune to this principle, not even Google, as evidenced by its hire of all-star, Wall Street vetted CFO Ruth Porat, to rein in the behemoth company’s spending.

Porat’s hire this year indicates that the technology industry’s spending practices are maturing. It’s no longer only about funding and the fireworks of innovation. It’s time to plan for sustainability and long-term growth, and prepare for the financial needs of the company for decades to come.

As finance re-establishes its role in today’s maturing businesses, it’s time for the technology team to make some new friends. That friendship relies on learning how to consider projects from the perspective of asset allocation. The conversation starts with the project pitch, but will also rely on the relationship you’ve built with the department. In this slideshow, Henner Schliebs, vice president, Head of Global Finance Audience Marketing at SAP, has outlined what will be on finance leaders' minds while they review your proposal.


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