Business intelligence and analytics top priorities for Asean CIOs

GartnerBusiness intelligence and analytics are the top priorities of CIOs in Southeast Asia (SEA), according to a Gartner survey.Next on their list are mobile, ERP and cloud.

Eighty-four percent of CIOs in SEA recognise the need to adapt their leadership style in the next three years to succeed in digital business, compared with the global average of 75 percent. To achieve this, 69 percent said that they want to decrease their controlling approach to focus on significantly increasing their visionary and coaching attributes.

The annual survey covered more than 2,810 CIOs worldwide, representing more than US$397 billion in CIO IT budgets in 84 countries. It included responses from 117 CIOs from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

CIOs were asked how they should adapt their leadership to ensure their enterprises survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world.

“While CIOs in SEA are more bullish about digital technologies than their global counterparts, they are generally more constrained by immature digital risk management processes. o realise the benefits of digital technology investments, CIOs in the region really need to innovate on people and process opportunities,” said Sid Deshpande, Principal Research Analyst of Gartner.

According to the survey, CIOs in SEA are expecting a larger increase in budget in 2015 (3.6 percent) compared with the global weighted average (one percent). They are generally enthusiastic about leveraging the digital opportunity, where the level of business success an organization can achieve in the digital era is clearly predicated on the level of digital vision and leadership the organisation possesses. Examples of top-down digital leadership in SEA include the Smart Nation initiative recently launched by the Singapore government and DBS Bank’s sustained focus on digital innovation.

The survey also indicated that 68 percent of CIOs in SEA reported that they have a deputy CIO role in place to manage day-to-day IT operations, which is a noticeable difference compared with 47 percent globally. This provides them with the opportunity to spend more time on ensuring that benefits from their investments are fully realized.

In addition, CIOs in the region spend of 50 percent of their time on average with either the board of directors, C-level executive peers or business unit leadership, slightly higher than the global average of 44 percent. While 43 percent of CIOs in SEA believe they should lead the digital change, only 15 percent of CEOs share that perspective. This indicates that CEOs view digital leadership as a team game, and they view the CIO as a “first among equals” when it comes to digital leadership.

“It is clear that CIOs in the region have the opportunity to establish themselves as digital leaders in the eyes of the CEO and business leaders. They should sponsor and foster innovation and experimental projects around mobile, analytics and cloud, while providing visibility to such efforts among the business leadership of their organisation,” said Deshpande.