A long time ago, there was a rhythm and blues group known as The Contours that recorded a song with the apt title, “First I Look at the Purse.” Today, even as responsibilities merge within the enterprise, CFOs maintain that fiscal responsibility first and foremost.

“I think [CFOs] first see numbers and then it depends on how strategic they are,” says Deb Smallwood, founder of Strategy Meets Action. “If [CFOs] are operational all they see are numbers and how are they going to pay for projects versus the business value and the return on investment. There are different views of what CFOs need to do.”

The challenge is equally difficult for the CIOs, explains Frank Petersmark, a former CIO and currently CIO advocate for X by 2.

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