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CIOs to dedicate themselves more to innovation and customer experience
The 2015 Greater China CIO Viewpoint, produced by Michael Page, is based on the survey findings of 116 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) working across a range of industry sectors in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In this post, we look at some of the pertinent concerns and considerations technology leaders in the region will face in the coming 12 months.
More connected consumers are expecting a more effective and quicker ease of business brought about by automated processes and a pervasive presence of sophisticated digital transformations such as cloud computing and analytics. These higher expectations also call on CIOs to place an emphasis on operations (accounting for some 38% of surveyed respondents) and deliver a model with disciplined execution that provides reliable, credible and transparent services. CIOs in Greater China today need to capitalise on the data revolution as they continue to have a bird’s eye view of business developments and pull together moving parts of technology.
The role and function of CIOs in Greater China
CIOs of tomorrow need to understand the inner workings of business strategy in Greater China through enhanced operations and heightened innovation. Using digital technologies and working closely with other segments of the business, CIOs will need to take on a more encompassing role. Core skills in demand include managing data and relating it to problem-solving and strategy execution, the ability to synthesise digital functions into their business and an awareness of how big data, cloud services and mobility can enhance their business.
CIOs throughout Greater China appear to have a focus on big data including data consolidation and data applications as they control and direct their business using data-driven insights. Other improvements to business operations that CIOs are focusing on include process improvement initiatives to drive down costs and improve efficiencies, implementing SAP applications and big data projects. CIOs in Greater China ought to shift their own roles from supply-focused IT providers to business-focused leaders of IT-enabled innovation.
Using innovation to their advantage
IT businesses will not only have to support innovation but be a source of innovation by leveraging the speed, agility and cost benefits of their services and business solutions. CIOs will have to look at proactively identifying other opportunities and initiatives to differentiate their organisations in the market. To deliver products, capabilities and services with better responsiveness, CIOs will need to get ahead of their customers and lead, not just follow, when it comes to harnessing technology.
Technology firms are expecting CIOs to make more effective decisions and present strategic business plans using data-driven insights and innovation strategies. They are also expected to be more effective at forging partnerships and extending their accountability to the business. As a whole, CIOs have to refine the strategy of their firms, explore ways to implement effective and vibrant innovation and foster a distinct customer experience that aligns with their business objectives.
Top talent in the technology job market
Across Greater China, the technology job market is fairly optimistic. Some 46% of respondents foresee the job market improving in the next 12 months. Another 35% predict the job market will remain steady for IT professionals, indicating solid performances from the sector in the region.
Specific local market conditions will have their own impact on recruitment initiatives and determine growth in talent but it looks as if CIOs need to become more innovative in their quest to attract talent who are adaptable and have a higher potential for retention.
Should there be a skills shortage within the local technology industry, talent may have to be sourced from overseas, with 70% of surveyed CIOs considering recruiting international IT professionals. This will require organisations to have talent capable of improving efficiency, creating value, ensuring optimisation, and being a source of inspiration for new ideas and strategies.
Cultivating versatile talent with strong project management skills is integral as the more IT helps to resolve business problems, the more respect and support it receives, which in turns encourages top talent to stay and build careers with the organisation.
To find out more about the latest insights from the perspectives of CIOs on technology innovations, strategies, budget and resourcing in Greater China, please click here to access the Michael Page 2015 Greater China CIO Viewpoint.