Curt Espeland, the CFO at Eastman Chemical, is relying on an ERP system to more effectively integrate Eastman's $4.7 billion acquisition of Solutia, which is expected to close around mid-year. Espeland says he's working closely with the company's chief information officer (CIO) on preparing to implement SAP at Solutia, "particularly since the migration to SAP is a key driver to the timing of the overall cost and revenue synergies of the transaction."

In fact, a recent survey of CFOs by consultancy Gartner and Financial Executives Research Foundation shows that IT is becoming a major factor in corporate strategy and CFOs are playing an ever bigger role in deciding which IT to invest in.

"CFOs are probably in the best position to bridge operational areas with financial areas and to enable corporate strategy," says John Van Decker, research vice president at Gartner. "In many cases, they're the CEO's right-hand person to guide the company's corporate strategy." 

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