CIOs face fresh threats from changing business climate

CIO India
CIOs in the APAC region fear that technology skills shortage will hinder their organisations in a rapidly changing business landscape, the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey revealed. Among the CIOs surveyed, 69 percent in the APAC region have shared this view.

However, compared to their global counterparts, CIOs in the region are confident of keeping up with the pace at which disruptive technologies are invading.

Japan is an exemption with 72 per cent of technology leaders in the country reporting they are struggling to keep up with pace of digital disruption and change.

“From grappling with increasing cyber security threats, to working with the board on innovation and digital transformation, CIOs in 2016 are dealing with a more varied range of challenges than ever before, many of which are far removed from the realms of traditional IT,” said Nick Marsh, Managing Director of Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC.

“Adaptability, influencing skills and an ability to keep a clear head in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today’s CIO,” Nick Marsh added.

CIO’s role

Earlier, the role of the CIOs was about cost efficiency, increase productivity  and simplifying the internal operations.

Bob Hayward, Head, Asia Pacific CIO Advisory Centre of Excellence, KPMG in Singapore said the role of the CIO in today’s business is truly focused on innovation.

The survey found 72 percent of CIOs across APAC feel they are becoming more strategic in their organisations, while 47 percent expect to increase their IT headcount over the next year. Further, 52 percent plan to increase the budget.

In April, an EMC and VMware analysis revealed that CIOs plan to transform their IT infrastructure to meet changing business needs. It noted that CIOs are looking to reduce IT costs and use those savings to make investments in digital transformation.

EMC also pointed out that many CIOs see adopting cloud technologies as a way to save infrastructure costs and operating costs.

Skills in demand

The survey found that data analytics was the most in-demand skill this year in the APAC region, with the percentage of respondents at 44. It is 5 percent higher than the global average.

At the same time, demand for digital skills logged the biggest increase of 21 percent globally, followed by security with a 17 percent rise.

2016’s most in demand skills across APAC include; big data, business analysis, technical architecture, IT strategy, project management and mobile solutions.

Talent hunt

According to the survey, 47 percent of CIOs in APAC expect to increase headcount over the coming year. That slightly up compared to a global figure of 44 percent.

Indicating that China will lead the talent war in APAC, the survey found 52 percent of the country’s CIOs plan to increase headcount this year.

CDO adoption

To better handle digital disruption, organisations have been adopting Chief Digital Officers (CDOs). This year, the adoption rate for the APAC was in line with the global rate of 20 per cent. Singapore outperformed with 41 percent of survey participants saying that they have a CDO.

Only 9 percent of respondents across APAC have no digital strategy and no plans for a CDO.

Cyber attacks

The survey found CIOs in APAC are faced with more cyber-attacks than their global counterparts.

As many as 32 percent of APAC CIOs responded to major IT security or cyber-attack in the last two years, versus 28 per cent globally.

Shockingly, only 18 percent of CIOs said they are confident of their organisation defence against  cyber-attacks. CIOs in Japan are the least prepared, with only 11 per cent being confident.

In March, IT data intelligence provider BDNA had said CIO’s role should be immersed not only in innovation, but also in evaluating increased security threats and broadening financial implications.