IT Now Aligned With Aspirations of Business Leaders

ASEAN CIOs are more closely aligned with the CEO while Singapore CIOs are more likely to use IT to refine business processes and enhance collaboration, finds an IBM study. 
IBM's 2011 Global CIO Study interviewed more than 3,000 global chief information officers (CIOs) across 71 countries and 18 industries and found that their role is seen as fundamental from top management with 68% of the companies interviewed rank technology as totally critical to the success of the business and 58% of them have largely integrated business and technology to innovate. 
The shared executive agenda with a clear mandate is empowering CIOs worldwide to help the business get the most out of technology. The top three focus areas are strengthening relationships with customers, developing the skills of employees, and gaining insight and intelligence from data.
In all three focus areas, ASEAN CIOs are more closely aligned and more focused on insights (89%; Global 79%), clients (76%; Global 71%) and people skills (79%; Global 66%) than their global peers. 
Now in its seventh year, Giuseppe Bruni, Lead, Strategy & Transformation, Global Business Services, IBM ASEAN said, "This study provides key evidence of how the capabilities of IT are finally aligned with the aspirations of business leaders”.
Bruni said that this alignment could be in part to the fact that CIOs and CEOs in the region saw each other more often.  
Bruni spoke on the importance of CIOs determining their own mandate and being able to communicate this effectively to the business. This was essential he said as it needed to be clear to the board and the business just what he hoped to achieve and how this would be done so he did not , "bite off more than he could chew".
Bruni said that the study identified four distinct “CIO Mandates,” based on how each organization views the role of IT: Leverage, Expand, Transform and Pioneer. These mandates identify clear areas where IT must excel to support and enable the organization, and determine the required competencies IT needs to obtain and develop.  

The study found that CIOs in Singapore and the region followed largely the Expand and Transform mandates.
The “Expand” mandate is the dominant mandate for CIOs in ten of eighteen industries, and “Expand” CIOs in ASEAN are more focused than their global peers on the benefits of global integration.
The “Transform” mandate is most common in Financial Services industries in ASEAN and touts “Simplify, simplify, simplify” as its mantra. 
Bruni said that the CIO mandate would help dictate the business's IT strategy and would need to be reviewed on a regular basis for continued success.  â€¨ 
An eye on the future 
The study found that four out of five global CIOs (ASEAN 86%; Global 83%) see business intelligence and analytics as top priorities for their businesses as they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data that are now at their disposal.
When asked how they will translate data into intelligence, CIOs named master data management (ASEAN 73%; Global 68%), customer analytics (ASEAN 72%; Global 66%), data warehousing (ASEAN 74%; Global 64%), and visual information dashboards (ASEAN 69%; Global 64%). 
Although it was already on the 2009 list of priorities, cloud computing took a giant leap. Now that it has come of age, it is rising more than any other CIO priority with 60 percent (ASEAN 57%) of CIOs ready to embrace cloud computing over the next five years as a means of growing their businesses and achieving competitive advantage – nearly double the number in the same study two years ago.
Specifically, ASEAN CIOs cited rationalization of application portfolio (ASEAN 20%; Global 23%), and utilizing cloud services (ASEAN 23%; Global 12%), as top activities to control and reduce legacy costs. Bruni said that cloud computing was the "great enabler" that could help mid-sized businesses challenge the technological advantages of larger enterprises.  
CIOs are also increasingly turning their attention to mobile computing to keep pace with the fast-changing marketplace. As the proliferation of mobile devices with enhanced functionality and mobile applications that support business productivity and new market opportunities continue to grow, mobile computing and mobility solutions are now seen by nearly three-quarters of CIOs (ASEAN 68%; Global 74%) as a game-changer for their businesses. 




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