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CIO Conference 2013: Grappling with the data tsunami in Singapore

Tao Ai Lei | March 27, 2013
This year's CIO Conference was literally awash with data, as speakers highlighted the challenges and strategies that organisations need to adopt as they face the inevitable data tsunami.

Finally, risk taking is a good thing. "I believe that if you are not pushing yourself then you will likely end up with a project that may be completed on time, on budget and in scope – but does not deliver real value… Throughout this project, we pushed the boundaries to see how we could exceed expectations, and while we faced risk, it was managed and not avoided," said Kidd.

The next speaker was Nick Marsh, managing director (Asia Pacific) at Harvey Nash, a global professional recruitment consultancy and IT outsourcing service provider, who spoke on "The Changing role of the CIO".

Results from Harvey Nash's CIO survey with 2,400 participants from 20 countries, found that CIOs are facing massive change, with the digital economy setting the stage for the "innovate or die scenario".

Nick Marsh
Photo: Nick Marsh

Instead, CIOs need to look beyond the operational concerns, and focus on the board-led priorities of growth and innovation. "This change in technology and opportunity has presented business leaders with opportunities to make transformational change to their business, and CEOs are looking to CIOs to make that happen," said Marsh.

Just as CFOs have evolved from a bean counter to being a core part of the business, so too, have CIOs' roles changed to become enablers in the last five years.

"Priorities have shifted and the focus is now on mobile solutions, security and resilience, and social media and consumer interaction," said Marsh. "At this point it is all about the customer, with all technologies enabling you to focus on producing solutions that enable customers to be far more rapidly embraced, if not, your competitors are doing it."

March noted that there is also a return to increased IT budgets, as well as a return to focusing on revenue growth and cost reduction. In turn, the failure to be mindful of this will impact the business.

He opined that there is also a huge perception gap between what the CEO is expecting and what the CIO is doing, and the solution is for the CIO to take a lead.

"This perception gap can be closed with the X factor, its really about executive presence, and talking business language. Whether you are CIO or IT director, the business will take the CIO much more seriously, if he or she talks in their languages, and not talk about technologies. Sales, marketing, growth, acquisitions, are terminology that you should be using all the time."

The Winners' Circle
The five CIO Asia Awards 2013 winners who walked away with the Oscars of the Asian IT industry weaved business needs into the fabric of their technology projects to derive deep value from IT.


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