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William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at wmcknight@mcknightcg.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

The premise of this article in E-Commerce Times is that the CFO is so responsible for organizational data (i.e., compliance) that, in some shops, s/he might as well run all of IT. Wow! I'm not sure where this "consensus" referenced is coming from, but I have not encountered this. We've come so far in terms of legitimizing the CIO position away from being pure support of any department and/or reporting to the CFO. Most CIOs are peers of CFOs.

Despite the obvious importance of Sarbanes-Oxley, I don't believe this is a trend. CIOs must be sensitive now to not only internal knowledge worker clients supporting customer needs, but to internal compliance requirements. This is a natural step for most CIOs. The position has developed strong business acumen over the years and should be able to work closely with the CFO to deliver on compliance requirements without the entire function going under the CFO.

Posted November 21, 2005 8:23 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |


It would certainly be interesting to see some real data, as indeed one instance does not make a trend. However I do disagree with your statement "Most CIOs are peers of CFOs". I know of very few organizations where the CIO is on the board of a company. Usually, at least in my experience, the CIO reports to the CFO. The interesting question is which way the trend line is moving. I have seen figures quoted that only 5% of CIOs are on boards of directors (http://www.findtechinsights.com/5826/insightDetail.htm) so I think they still have a way to go to catch up with the CFO.

Hi William and Andy,

I have been a management consultant to the C's for over 20 years and while peer may be a strong word, I agree with William's point that CIOs have come a long way and their business skills enable them to handle compliance support along with the myriad of other job requirements.

Where I still see CIOs reporting to CFOs, it seems to be a nominal reporting at best. Board appointment notwithstanding (if CFOs aren't required to be on boards, I'd be surprised), in the day-to-day, many (most?) CIOs have as much responsibility as CFOs. I'd hate to see this trend go backwards.

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