ASEAN CIOs delving deep into business

CIOs from the ASEAN region are becoming more involved in the business side of their company’s operations more than their Western counterparts, a global CIO study from IT solutions firm IBM revealed Tuesday.

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The study, conducted among 2,500 CIOs around the world, showed that CIOs from the region are increasingly recognizing the need to be deeply involved with the business. “IT is no longer a separate part of the company in most successful organizations,” said Sandy Vann, country leader, IBM global business services, IBM Philippines.

Vann said ASEAN CIOs are driven primarily by their respective company’s business processes, driving these executives to develop business skills, see themselves as less of an IT manager and more of a member of the company’s strategic planning team.

“ASEAN CIOs have more voice in the business, which enables them to help drive revenues up,” Vann claimed, adding that traditionally, ASEAN businesses have more personnel taking care of technical matters than their Western counterparts.

This shift in the role of the company CIO is pervasive around the world, as majority of information executives surveyed in the study say they are slowly easing out of managing technical aspects of the company and moving into strategically leveraging IT for the business.

In fact, Vann said, most of the CIOs surveyed are spending less on ongoing business, and are “exerting efforts and putting investment on slowly transforming their business.” “84 per cent of the respondents said the simplification of business processes–more than consolidation–act as a major key for growth,” he added.

Of top CIO priorities globally, business intelligence and analytics turned out to be their top visionary plan (83 per cent globally and 71 per cent in ASEAN), followed closely by virtualization (76 per cent), risk management and compliance (71 per cent) and customer and partner collaboration (68 per cent).

“CIOs are investing [heavily] in business analytics capabilities to help them improve decision-making at all levels,” said Fiona Capstick, vice president, geography integration executive, office of the CIO, IBM. “CIOs understand that analytics can be key to new growth markets and in gaining a competitive advantage in these new markets.”

(By John Mark V. Tuazon)


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