Engage customers by aligning technology to business: CIO Summit Malaysia 2016

Leading IT professionals attend the Malaysia edition of the popular regional CIO Summit, which this year carried the theme - ‘Innovate, Integrate, and Incorporate.’

By Rosalind See
Aug. 25, 2016

"Today's IT is expected to align business to digital transformation. CIOs are expected to understand customer behaviour, and how to be partners to customers," stated Lenovo ASEAN DCG leader (acting), AP DCG Alliance and Incubation business director Richard Wern. "What is needed is a new mindset aligning business growth to customer behaviour."

"In the past, data centres focused on optimisation in driving costs down, increasing reliability and managing the environment. New data centres now focus on agility, data transformation and how to bring new business into your organisation," said Wern. "A more agile response has to be developed which responds to changing demands. These include tapping on new technology, be it converged or hyper-converged, for better efficiency and availability."

He added, "To accelerate the transformation, explore new IT consumption models to stop shadow IT and demand open approaches to achieve flexibility. Leverage on emerging technologies such software-defined data centres, storage and network capabilities with more agility, connectivity, storage and solutions."

The panel discussion at the end of the day revealed that each organisation had its own approach to digital transformation. "The group CEO is our digital transformation champion, and the group ICT Head its executor," said UEM Group's head of Group ICT Sher Khan Akbar Khan. "Our initiatives are built around productivity. As we have businesses spread across different industries with multiple organic-grown systems, we prioritise integration to get us a full view of our overall business."

"For us, digital transformation is initiated by the board of directors. Although a business-driven initiative, IT drives digital transformation as it is technology-based and IT understands its mechanics," said Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels general manager, IT/Head of IT Albert Tan. "We have shifted our IT talent towards new areas of demand such as analytics, cloud and mobility, and we continue to train them to engage more with users."

"Our end-users drive digital transformation. Any investment is tied to profitability, and it may not make sense to go ahead with digital transformation as the business may not be ready for digitalisation," said Sime Darby Berhad head, Strategy & Innovation, Group Strategy & Business Innovation Rafiza Ghazali. "Cultural transformation is equally important as it sets the foundation for innovation."

From Standard Chartered Bank's perspective, everyone drove and supported digital transformation. "The strategy comes first, then we work on how to drive it through the organisation," said Dato' Arif. "We are focused on all three aspects of innovation, incorporation and integration. However, innovation has to be integrated with other systems. For digital transformation to succeed, all three elements have to work together."

The second CIO Summit in this year's season is being held at The Intercontinental Bangkok, Thailand, 25 August 2016. Also, click here for more details of the 2016 CIO Summit events across the region. 

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