The CIO-CFO connection: Money

June 28, 2012 in Medical Technology

LAS VEGAS – As recent studies have shown, health systems across the country are increasing their IT spending in the next five years or so. Given that, it is imperative that chief information officers and chief financial officers partner to create strategic budgets said a CIO and CFO during an education session Tuesday at HFMA’s national conference in Las Vegas.

The session, “How to Create a Strategic IT Budget through CFO/CIO Partnership,” illustrated how CIOs and CFOs can partner to create a strategic budget to maximize resources and support the goals and missions of organizations.

[See also: CIOs expect boost in IT budgets, staff]

The first thing to realize about creating strategic IT budgets said William Morgan, regional director of information management at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is that the actual IT component of most “IT” projects is small.

“Although we call it technology capital,” said co-presenter Pamela Leming Brower, CPA, the regional chief financial officer at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, “it really is about operational investments,” such as costs for labor, equipment, supplies and some overhead allocations.

A strategic IT budget, they said, emerges from the integration of effective IT governance, defined organizational and IT strategy and rigorous planning and budget support. A strategic IT budget should:

  • be aligned with the organizational strategic plan,
  • be accessible, communicable and dynamic,
  • provide guiding principles,
  • inform and support technology decisions,
  • serve as a formal reference and baseline for performance measurement and progress reporting, and
  • be “owned” by the organization.

[See also: CIO survey forecasts IT staffing troubles ahead]

But above all, to achieve success, teamwork is crucial. “(When) we talk about that partnership for success – there’s defined roles and responsibilities,” Brower said. “So at the end of the day, it truly is that teamwork and accountability.”



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