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Roundtable: Rise Above the State

John Tan | March 27, 2012
Sponsored by Telstra, the executive roundtable saw keen participation from attendees who raised issues pertaining to remote computing, cloud services, and IT security.

Telstra Roundtable SG

From left: K.C. Chong, Greg Jamieson, Phil Mottram, Germaine Seah, T.C. Seow, Marcus Tu, Suresh Kumar T., William Chong, Solomon Tay.

“The new generation expect to be able to access corporate systems on new mobile devices. Many are prepared to change the company they work for because of this,” stated K.C. Chong, Director, Infrastructure Technology, Asia Pacific & Europe, Honeywell.

Chong was sharing his views on the use of mobile devices to access corporate IT systems. He believed that CIOs did not have a choice but to allow this. It was a generational shift, with the “CXOs and CEOs insisting on having corporate email on their iPhones”.

CIOs and senior IT executives were huddled at Swissotel The Stamford Hotel on February 23, 2012 to discuss the issues and challenges they confronted; and how to use IT to create competitive advantage by enabling business innovation, amidst the on-going pressure of cost management and budget reduction.

The Executive Roundtable discussion was moderated by T.C. Seow, Editor of CIO Asia magazine and sponsored by Telstra International.


Prioritising IT investments

Seow kicked off the discussions by asking those present what criteria they used to decide where to invest for their IT, and how they identified and managed the risks of their IT investments.

Marcus Tu, Head, Technical Services Group, Chartis Singapore Insurance, shared that his company’s IT investments were driven by business needs.

With the natural disasters that had stricken the region - including countries such as Australia, Japan and Thailand - it was a business opportunity for Chartis to send a message to consumers that it was ready to fulfill its obligations.

There was therefore a greater focus on more outreach to consumers. In Singapore, two major applications were launched to allow its two to three thousand agents in Singapore to directly access the companies IT system. The agents could then check policy details and get quotations right from the field.

Solomon Tay, Head of IT, CIMB Bank, commented that his bank’s IT investments were determined by a top-down strategy. Core banking systems would naturally enjoy greater priority over periphery systems.

Since the need was for a system to service the entire region that the bank served. A single solution was selected and replicated throughout the region.

The choice of solutions available was very limited because there were numerous strict regulations in the financial industry, which varied with each country. 

The bank had to adopt a flexible prioritisation process that was conducted every six months. 

Greg Jamieson, Global Agriculture Supply Chain Sector IT Lead, Cargill, shared that his company’s IT had gone through a number of levels of maturity.


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