What a difference a year makes. Just 12 months back, our State of the Asian CXO Survey results were all about the darkening skies and the storm brewing ahead. This year, the results convey more than just the silver lining; in fact, much of the feedback we have gathered proves that the skies are brightening already, although there are still stormy forecasts over the horizon.
This annual survey, spanning across seven countries in Asia this year, provides not just a fairly good representation of the CXO's sentiments regarding their technology use and operations, but also their outlook for the next 12 months. Fortunately, 2012 has not been as tumultuous as the year before that saw the devastating tsunami that hit Japan, nor the unprecedented flooding in Thailand's high technology parks that crippled the world's supply of crucial electronic components.
Once again in this year's survey, we asked respondents to place their priorities according to importance -- what they felt the top challenges they faced in 2012, and also indications of what they would likely encounter in 2013. Table 1 shows the top management priorities of CXOs from the region.
Compared to 2011, the top management priority is still about aligning IT and business goals. This seems to be a perennial struggle among Asian CXOs due probably to the rapidly changing IT landscape and the uncertain economic situation all round.
While Table 1 refers to the overall percentages of the various countries, Table 2 provides a country-by-country breakdown of management priorities.
Table 1: Top five CXO management priorities.
Table 2: Management priorities, by country.
But first, some encouraging words: When asked about their IT budgets, the respondents overwhelmingly said that their budgets will either remain the same as last year's (34.8 percent), or be increased (54.9 percent). Table 3 shows the findings for this year.
Table 3: IT budgets.
Table 4: Top technology priorities.
While there is a slight increase in budgets, the corresponding movement in the opposite direction can only mean that organisations may begin to reduce their staff numbers due to improving IT processes that lead to higher productivity. On the other hand, increasing budgets could also mean embarking on new initiatives, or new hires for tackling new trends such as BYOD and consumerisation of IT. The most optimistic countries are The Philippines (78.9 percent), followed by India (65.8 percent), and Indonesia (54.8 percent). By investing more on their IT projects, these developing countries are expected to reap their efforts come 2013, provided the recovery of the world economy remains on track.
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