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Sailing Through the Storm

T.C. Seow | Sept. 27, 2011
If the 2011 State of the Asian CXO Survey has a message for all, it is this: Time to change. And fast.

Table 8

Table 9

Said another respondent: "In many conventional models, IT [organisation] reports to the CFO, director of finance, finance manager or financial controller. In my opinion, IT is important to participate early and communicate their views to C-level [executives] or board of directors to encourage quick decision-making on any technology hiring, headcount allocation, budget allocation, etc."

These may be real issues that the IT departments would have to deal with their CXOs, but the changing economic climate externally does not allow CXOs the luxury of time to overcome their differences in order to work towards a common goal. Communication is key, and the earlier CXOs can close ranks (Table 9) to improve organisational agility and efficiency will help them weather the tough economic situation ahead.


Hosted Solutions

In lean times, outsourcing and taking advantage of hosted solutions may be a viable way to not just reduce overall costs but to increase efficiency, if the deployment goes according to plan. The majority of respondents indicated that they would not be adopting hosted solutions, except for China and India, where respondents said they would continue to do so as some parts of their organisations already use hosted solutions. Most respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand chose "no plans to adopt hosted solutions," which is quite a surprise as these countries have been known to be outsourcing providers to major IT shops around the region. 

For Singapore, the response was a draw between being an early adopter, and no plans to do so, which again was a surprising result, considering much of Singapore's established enterprises are heavy outsource customers and believers of hosted solutions. 

One explanation could be that organisations in Singapore have already moved into hosted solutions and hence have no plans to expand further, while those who have not would just be starting to adopt such solutions. 

Philippines chose billing systems as highly mature for hosting, while India, Singapore and Thailand singled out communications. Indonesia and Singapore also ranked high for hosted CRM solutions. "With shrinking budget and pressure to perform and provide consistent and new services, cloud and other emerging technology including hosted contact centres, etc. is the way to go," one respondent commented.


Time to Go Social

Social computing still seems to be in its infancy stage, if the results of the survey is an indication (Table 10). CXOs seem hesitant to step into this arena, citing various reasons for their indecision (Table 11). Most of the respondents felt social computing could potentially benefit their enterprise customer relationship management, except for Indonesia, where 54.5 percent of respondents felt social computing too insecure to be used for business purposes. 


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