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CIO Conference: Shifting Roles

Tao Ai Lei & T.C. Seow | March 28, 2012
Some 150 industry leaders gathered at Singapore’s Marriott Hotel last March for the CIO Conference to deliberate on the current hot IT issues.

Kwong concluded by briefly describing her role within NTUC, that is to cover digital media in addition to ICT; leverage on new media technology wherever possible; assist in getting people — including top management and the union leaders alike —to embrace social media.

Cloud Simplicity
Raju Chellam, Head of Cloud Practice (South Asia & Korea), Dell Asia Pacific, talked about key challenges faced by CIOs today, and how cloud computing may be the answer they are looking for to help solve some of their problems.

“The first challenge is that the bulk of IT budget is consumed by maintaining huge storage and processing facilities, software licensing costs, versioning and migration of apps,” he said. “How could CIOs focus on innovations and strategies when 80 percent of their budget is spent on maintaining legacy IT environment, and only 20 percent is left for strategic spending to boost innovation?”

Raju Chellam
Raju Chellam

The second challenge is the growing complexity of IT management. Because of rapidly changing and growing data, more and more applications are needed, which in turn bring accelerated pace of change that complicates application management. In addition, maintaining infrastructure inhibits innovation, not to mention complex infrastructure that is difficult to manage.

He next talked about three big trends that organisations must contend with: “Big data and BYOD or ‘bring your own device’ will forever change the way we work,” he said. “Data growth is the number 1 datacentre infrastructure challenge today. The Gen X & Y are coming to the workforce and they will change the face of backend IT.”

The second trend is what he called the “March of Virtual Machines”. Statistics have shown that there may be as many as four virtual machines per physical server; and as technology moves up the value chain, the number of VMs will explode, he cautioned.

“Cloud computing is the third trend,” he added. “Why is cloud so hot, and so cool today? That’s because cloud makes a big difference in asset utilisation and in cutting datacentre labour costs.”

Going forward, organisations should look at three technological solutions to solve their infrastructure problems. First is explore putting intelligence into the infrastructure so that one be able to rapidly deploy and compute storage and networking resources. Second is to automate workload provisioning, and third is to start small, but more importantly, start with intelligent hardware and software, and scale up on demand.

Customer First
This year’s CIO Asia 2012 award winners set aside administrative restrictions, to embrace the needs of its customers – whether it involves re-engineering a public site to be more mobile-friendly, or re-inventing workflow for easier customer and partner interaction. They pulled out all stops to bring the user experience to new heights, achieving some world firsts along the way.


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