How to Improve the Relationship Between Technology and Finance

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Cultivate an Ongoing Relationship

It’s a good idea to form a relationship early on with the finance team so that they are familiar with you and your team as people, are aware of your goals for the future, and are up to date on the triumphs and struggles of your projects. You’ll also know what the atmosphere is like in their department, which will help you not only better time your requests, but also know when a proactive suggestion for cost-savings would be appreciated, such as reporting that a software subscription is now rarely used, and could be cancelled.

By forming relationships with the finance team and discussing the needs of the company from both sides, you’ll be able to better anticipate each other's needs – which means the company as a whole will run more efficiently. Goals will be achieved without the feeling that one department is undermining the other, and new opportunities will be able to be more easily explored.

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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