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IBM CFO + CIO Leadership ExchangeIBM CFO + CIO Leadership Exchange

In New York this past May, IBM hosted its first THINK Finance: The CFO+CIO Leadership Exchange, convening more than 170 chief financial officers and chief information officers from 20 industries. Below are highlights of the program and the topics explored.

In New York this past May, IBM hosted its first THINK Finance: The CFO+CIO Leadership Exchange, convening more than 170 chief financial officers and chief information officers from 20 industries. Below are highlights of the program and the topics explored.

IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty opened the exchange by describing how big data and analytics are changing the basis of competitive advantage and putting CFOs and CIOs at the forefront of a shift in enterprise transformation. “It will change the professions in your company. We think the implications are huge on the relationship between the CFO and the CIO. You're going to get a much better picture of economics, of customers. You will understand context to data. It will be about leading, not trailing. And it will be about transforming parts of your company you have not transformed before to [become] a Smarter Enterprise.”

To capitalize on the opportunities, CFOs and CIOs need to start collaborating now to better understand each other's requirements and how they can best work together. Below is a summary of event sessions.

Setting a Shared Agenda

This session provided the CEO perspective on the opportunities created by a new era of computing and the implications it has for CFOs, CIOs and the practice of financial management. CFOs, who traditionally have managed and orchestrated the flow of capital, now are expanding their scope and collaborating with CIOs in new ways to accelerate enterprise agility, anticipate future outcomes, and drive a discipline of performance.

Imperative I: Drive Enterprise Agility through Enterprise Transformation

Long responsible for efficient financial stewardship and enterprise compliance, the CFO role is now taking on more complex dimensions as new technologies offer greater insight and the ability to capture a single version of the truth. CFOs are now optimizing operational models, seamlessly connecting them across the global enterprise, and creating better linkages between strategy and business outcomes, ultimately strengthening front-office execution and enabling enterprise agility.

Imperative II: Help the Business Make Better Decisions by Anticipating the Future

Fueled by new abilities to put data into context, CFOs and CIOs are uniquely positioned to inject fresh, forward-looking perspectives into their organizations and enable more precise decision making in real time. Leading CFOs and CIOs are working to instill a culture of predictive analytics to drive higher yields, stronger business outcomes and enhanced customer experience.

Imperative III: Lead Business Model Innovation through a New Discipline of Performance

Today, an increasing number of CFOs are assuming broader strategic roles which go far beyond financial reporting and investor transparency. They are reinventing business models and instilling a new discipline of modeling, forecasting and performance. By driving innovation, influencing strategy and turning insights to action, the finance function is more critical than ever in propelling organizations forward.

Building the Enterprise of the Future

The world is entering a third stage of computing, sometimes referred to as “cognitive computing.” Information technology provides the foundation for finance to enable the organization to build a smarter enterprise in this new era – by gathering data, garnering insight from that data and most importantly, translating insight into action to deliver competitive advantage. New thinking, tools and skills are required to capitalize on the emerging opportunities offered.

Speakers