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CIO Workshop: Plan well for revival

Jack Loo | June 2, 2011
Executives share their stories of survival.

HONG KONG, 2 JUNE 2011-Cloud computing, consumerisation of IT and how companies survived tough times were some of themes explored at the CIO Workshop in Hong Kong.

The event jointly is organised by Accenture and Singapore’s Information Technology Management Association (ITMA). The conference was held during 24 to 28 May in Singapore’s Red Dot Museum, Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The most challenging time period for BMC Software was the market crash during the early 2000s. The earnings per shares (EPS) figure tumbled to US$0.20 in the fiscal year of 2004 from US$1.46 in 1999. “We lost our focus. We were so convinced that we were so good that we do not have to change,” stated Robert E. Beauchamp, chairman of the board and CEO, BMC Software.

When Beauchamp was appointed as CEO in 2000, he was faced with the decision of selling the business entirely or breaking up parts of the company to sell. Instead, the company decided to embark on a long term strategy based on aspirations of “what the world of IT management [would] look like in five or even 10 years time,” he said.

The period extending from 2002 through 2003 was spent on activities like establishing a financial foundation to rebuild and announcing its long term rebuilding strategy. There were also acquisitions for service management and impact management vendors. The next two years were spent pulling on board early adopters for its new products and buying new technology.

The following two years, 2006 and 2007, saw the company scaling up for mass production as well, plus even more acquisitions in areas such as network automation and predictive analytics.

The years 2008 and 2009 were spent on preparing the company’s strategy for hybrid data centres and forging alliances with other vendors.

An elaborate long-term strategy was one of the major contributors to the company’s turnaround, said Beauchamp. “BMC’s performance for the 2011 fiscal year saw the EPS of US$2.99, up 12 percent year on year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Paul Liu, manager, information technology division, Chong Hing Bank shared with conference attendees how his Hong Kong-based bank the last economic recession.

Besides installing blade servers and server virtualisation that help save energy costs, Liu pointed out that the troubled years were a good time to hire IT staff “as other banks are laying off people.”

According to Liu, one practice the bank avoided during the downturn was to lay off its staff. “It is a bad habit and it affects the morale of all employees,” he shared with the conference attendees.

Panel discussions

The Workshop’s first panel discussion focused on how cloud computing can help CIO transform their businesses. One of the discussion points from moderator Kwek So Cheer, partner, Accenture, was that cloud computing is seen as a journey rather than destination for organisations.


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