The common thread running through this year's CIO Workshop, held yesterday on 28 May 2013, is the need for IT leaders to be flexible and adapt to consumer technologies.
"This year's CIO Workshop seeks to explore and unravel how consumer technologies are powering world economies and how convergence of the digital, social and mobile spheres are creating opportunities for organisations to innovate and lead in ways that are unprecedented," said Mark Tham, managing director, Health & Public Service, Accenture.
Jointly organised by the Singapore IT Management Association (ITMA) and Accenture, the CIO Workshop is a conference that aims to serve as a platform for IT leaders in Singapore to discuss the challenges facing the technology community. Tham is also the chairman of the board of advisors who crafted the direction and theme of the Workshop.
And the thriving Asian economy gives technology leaders in the region the opportunity to excel, according to Graeme Maxton, Fellow of the International Centre of the Club of Rome in his keynote address.
In Asia, India's economy grew three times within a space of 13 years, while Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia grew at least twice their size over the same period. And China, in 1990, contributed to only less than two percent of the global economy, and by 2013, it is powering 13 percent, said Maxton.
So what are the technology opportunities in the region? The need for improved infrastructure like transportation and healthcare are areas with potential, said Maxton.
There is also rising local competition where domestic companies are taking on their western counterparts. "We are already seeing the likes of Huawei doing so," said Maxton.
While technology hardware is commonly manufactured in Asia, increasing demand for software could see regional developers at some point say "we need our own operating system".
In a growing economy there is intense competition among companies. CIOs will face a lot of expectations by CEOs, according to Magnus Bocker, CEO, Singapore Exchange. "It will never cease. You are expected to walk on water," he said.
In his presentation Future Role of the CIO, Bocker unveiled key points that he as a CEO expects from his CIO. The first is the ability to understand the business strategy of the organisation.
The second is the solutions a CIO can provide to the enterprise. When a CIO does not understand the business, he or she cannot create the right solutions for the organisation, said Bocker.
The third is innovation. "People spend too little time thinking about innovation. You need to allow time for your people to do wrong, but at least, try," said Bocker.
And innovation then leads to the fourth point, growth. New ideas lead to new products and markets, something that CEOs expect all the time, he said.
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