Although, in many organizations, the IT function will ultimately report into the CFO, this does not mean that many CFOs are required to be aware of the detail of what IT actually does. It may be traditionally acceptable for a CFO to ensure that expenditure is on budget and that the IT function is generally supporting the business strategy going forward, but in many cases this will be the limit of their involvement with IT.
This is understandable, with a 101 other more pressing tasks to deal with, the technical minutiae of IT will not be high priority and will probably make your eyes glaze over before providing a cure for your stress-induced insomnia. But, one particular area of IT is worth the CFOs time to understand (the good news is no technical understanding is required) as it will produce both costs savings and a reduction in risk, key areas of their responsibility.
Increasing in both size and importance
That area is software asset management or SAM. Traditionally, the people responsible for this have been ferreted away in some back room, counting licenses and, by a few, looked on as a business inhibitor. But, the SAM function has come a long way in the last few years and the more progressive organizations that have adopted SAM wholesale have enjoyed a strong ROI (and then some) as a result.