AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog

CFO Series: E-Book—The Series So Far (Part 1)


On July 2, I began a series of blog posts for CFOs interested in digital transformation. In this post, I’ll summarize where we are with the series. In researching and writing these posts I have learned a great deal about what CFOs are focused on, and I have realized that there are still a lot of topics to cover, so expect to see more posts coming.

I began with a post to tee up the series, discussing why the topic was important and outlining what I hoped to cover.

A New Series: Digital Transformation for CFOs and Finance Departments

The most recent post in the series sums up what I have learned through exploring the subject and writing these posts: that finance can and should be a competitive advantage for enterprises that are transforming digitally. In the past, many have viewed the finance organization as the group responsible for cutting costs, but today it makes more sense to see finance as the function that makes sure resources flow to activities that deliver value—in many cases, the activities that will help the company grow and serve its customers better.

Finance as a Competitive Advantage

IT investments are often managed through a capital allocation process modeled on other types of capital investments. But the differences between IT and other types of capital investments are substantial enough to suggest that investment selection and oversight should be handled in a very different way.

Are IT Systems Like Other Capital Investments?

IT delivery in the digital era is based on a new set of practices that go by the names of Agile, Lean, and DevOps. These techniques offer businesses substantial advantages over earlier ways of managing IT initiatives. Unfortunately, they are often explained from the point of view of IT execution, rather than in terms of their business benefits. In the following post I tried to fix that.

An Executive View of Lean and Agile IT

Risk management is one responsibility of the CFO, but the digital era demands that enterprises think differently about risk and how to manage it.

Reducing Risk in the Cloud by Overcoming the Status Quo Bias

Risk is Lack of Agility

Several recent posts on the Enterprise Strategy blog have been concerned with cost optimization—that is, using the tools available to manage the costs of working in the cloud. While this CFO series does not focus on cost control, these posts may be of interest to CFOs.

Rightsizing Infrastructure Can Cut Costs 36%

Managing Your Cost Savings with Amazon Reserved Instances

Finally, since data and business intelligence are becoming more and more a part of the CFO’s domain, these posts on analytics might also be of interest. The second and third of these are part of my colleague Joe Chung’s series on Analytics and Big Data.

Lowering the Cost of Curiosity

Why Every Company Has a Big Data Problem(by Joe Chung)

What to Expect from Your Analytics Platform(by Joe Chung)

As I mentioned in the first post of the series, I am not a CFO, so I appreciate any feedback and ideas for future posts you would like to see.

A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility
The Art of Business Value

Mark Schwartz

Mark Schwartz

Mark Schwartz is an Enterprise Strategist at Amazon Web Services and the author of The Art of Business Value and A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility. Before joining AWS he was the CIO of US Citizenship and Immigration Service (part of the Department of Homeland Security), CIO of Intrax, and CEO of Auctiva. He has an MBA from Wharton, a BS in Computer Science from Yale, and an MA in Philosophy from Yale.