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Asia Pacific CIOs looking for new skills

T.C. Seow | Feb. 7, 2012
Survey shows an increasing need for CIOs to go beyond maintaining IT to deliver business services to ensure that their organisations stay agile


CIOs want to learn new skills that go beyond technology to better manage the changing demands on their job. That is the conclusion of a survey report called The Future Role of The CIO (Asia Pacific), conducted by CA Technologies.

The survey polled 270 CIOs across the region, and found that 70 percent of the respondents felt they needed to develop new skills to remain effective in the future. More than half (55 percent) said they want to acquire new skills such as learning more about regulatory and compliance issues, privacy and data protection laws, as well as the need to understand risk.

CA Technologies commissioned independent specialist technology market research company Vanson Bourne to undertake the research upon which the report is based.

According to the results of the survey, the skills CIOs need to develop are not primarily technological in nature. Fifty-five percent of respondents expressed the need to learn about regulatory and compliance issues such as privacy and data protection laws, and similarly, 55 percent said they had a need to understand risk.

These two factors were the most heavily-reported needs, and also illustrate how the job role of the CIO is changing. It is no longer enough to be technologically competent; there is a need to fully understand the changing legal ramifications of handling data. With the increasing adoption of offsite (often overseas) backup and of cloud computing, it is understandable that there is a knowledge gap and therefore a need to understand the implications of storing information outside of both the company and country of origin.

This need for new skills is most apparent in organisations with 1,001 to 3,000 employees, where 76 percent of CIOs identified the need for such skills as key to their future effectiveness.

The report also cited cloud computing and the increasing adoption of offsite (often overseas) backup as emerging changes that are creating a knowledge gap, and which made it necessary for CIOs to understand the implications of storing information outside both the company and country of origin.

Amongst other needs, 54 percent of respondents wanted to develop their understanding of commercial procurement, 52 percent wanted to improve their negotiation and sales skills, and 46 percent wanted more competency in legal matters.

Another 28 percent of CIOs wanted to develop their service performance skills, suggesting a need for them to understand what business services are required rather than to focus purely on what technology can deliver.

"The CIO's role is now being challenged and re-defined," commented Lionel Lim, president, Asia Pacific, CA Technologies, on the report. "They need to optimise technology planning in the context of the business goals. The CIO has to move from managing and maintaining IT to delivering business services to ensure that the organisation can stay agile by being fast, productive, efficient and cost-effective."


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