Traditionally, The CFO in a company does not focus on the technology of an organization. Rather, CFOs are dedicated to the bottom line: minimizing spending, reducing IT costs, etc. The CIO on the other hand, utilizes technology to increase access to information. The traditional roles of CFO and CIO often results in less transparency of important business data, which slows decision-making and businesses processes.

In recent years, however, the CFO and CIO have been working together. Technological advances help CFOs identify necessary IT investments to achieve the transparency and efficiency that companies need to grow. With more businesses moving to the cloud, the partnership between the CFO and CIO become even more significant. Cloud-based solutions provide a long list of benefits, technically and financially, and the CFO and CIO should work together in building an operational roadmap to help maximize those benefits.

Our SuiteWorld 2013 conference on May 13-16 in San Jose, California, featured a breakout session that delves into the relationship of the CFO and the CIO in dealing with cloud business software. Titled “The Way Forward: Business Value of CFO-CIO Collaboration,” this session gave attendees the secrets in maintaining top- and bottom-line growth via the cloud, one of which is the meeting of the minds of the top officers from both the technical and finance sides of the organization.

This session featured a panel of finance and IT executives, including Knowledge Universe CFO Reginald Singh and CIO Alvin Yeo, who shared how their roles evolved and their partnership in deciding how enterprise IT investments increase business value. Knowledge Universe, a $2 billion plus global education company with over 40,000 staff worldwide, went through a stage in which its previous systems couldn’t support strong growth. The company lacked flexibility and transparency into ERP, financial management, reporting and analysis in its subsidiaries—a headache for the CFO that the CIO was in a position to solve.

Enter NetSuite OneWorld and its multi-company and multi-currency capabilities that Knowledge Universe leveraged in Asia while preserving its investment in Oracle for its U.S. operations. Since adopting NetSuite’s integrated cloud solution, Knowledge Universe has reduced systems cost by 70% and improved visibility into diverse brands and operations across multiple continents, while empowering subsidiaries with flexible local control and management.

Today, the two Knowledge Universe chief officers continue to deliver strong and consistent results from both the financial and technical aspects of the business and have proven that strong collaboration between an organization’s CFO and CIO is critical to sustain business success.

-Mark Troselj, Managing Director for Asia Pacific 

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To learn more about how Knowledge Universe gains agility and reduces costs with NetSuite OneWorld read the case study here