IT is no longer a cost. It’s an investment. So it’s natural for a CFO to want more insight into the technology aspects of their business.
Discussing metrics related to technology and cybersecurity has many benefits, ensuring long-term operative success and that you can quickly adapt to short-term changes.
The impact of IT is now so far-reaching that a CFO can no longer ignore it.
It’s touching every department and every aspect of modern businesses. And there’s a lot to win – and a lot to lose with miscalculated or unwise spending.
Naturally, IT decisions often fall under the IT manager’s responsibility. But when they become siloed, investments can quickly stray away from the company’s bigger vision. When that happens, it can also be hard to pinpoint the technology investments that make the most sense.
While the answer isn’t solely a friendly quarterly coffee with your IT manager, a continuous, mutual understanding of your greater business strategy, departmental goals, and how they connect with IT spending, can be. Luckily, agreeing on IT spending is usually not the problem; IT managers are happy to see leaders taking more responsibility for technology investments.
But what business metrics should you discuss and why?
You understand the impact of great technology in modern business.
With wise investments and expert setups, IT should enable high productivity and performance, with high security and little downtime.
Cybersecurity is an important part of IT and a costly one if security is lacking.
Your IT manager should know the number of incidents and intrusion attempts, response times, and the time it takes to eliminate threats. The information is especially valuable for a CFO to learn if further investment is needed.
If the number of intrusion attempts increases, your business is more vulnerable, and additional investment may be in order. For one, threats like ransomware are on the rise, which can be an expensive recovery without proper backups and plans for business continuity.
Leaving vulnerabilities from patching for too long is a major risk.
Understanding how many security risks you have patched and how many are left can be of great value to understanding what you can do to strengthen your core IT infrastructure.
Downtime and network outages cost money.
It hinders productivity and can even halt revenue. The easiest way to understand both metrics is by showing the downtimes as percentages.
Set an acceptable threshold and act when they start to decline.
A quick measure of employee productivity is measuring the number of tickets IT closes or tracking how individual employees use their time overall.
Are there inefficiencies in the technology they are using, and if so, how can you improve it? What results would an improvement make?
You can also track overtime to assess whether you have enough or need more staff to reach your business goals.
Of course, IT costs money. As a CFO, you must know how much. Let the IT manager inform you of capital and expense costs, cost per user, and cost per ticket.
Measuring these areas over time makes it easier to scale and lets you know if IT expenditures run over budget.
If you have servers or other physical infrastructure-critical hardware, getting a pulse on its costs is also a good idea.
Great IT managers understand the importance of being up to date with the company’s long-term business strategy.
Quick pivots in strategy due to unforeseen market or other changes can require a change in IT resource allocation or help from new technology.
The IT manager should have strong insight into business technology and can help make investment decisions faster and more effectively. Balanced conversations are often your best bet. Communicate often so your IT manager knows both your long and short-term goals.
But make sure you talk at least quarterly to assess where you are heading. Together, you can make sure your business is secure and that you enable your workforce to work with great productivity. A managed IT provider can be a great addition to your internal team, indeed. And if you didn’t know, managed IT can save your organization a lot of money.
With less hiring costs, an MSP can also help you find the best digital solutions at a fraction of your internal cost.