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Interview with Herbert Leung of Atos: The CIO is shifting more towards business

Zafar Anjum | April 9, 2014
In this exclusive interview with CIO Asia, Herbert MT Leung, the CEO of Atos in Asia Pacific, talks about the changing role of the CIO, the new leadership challenges for businesses and governments and the rise of enterprises without boundaries

So, what could be those potential solutions to these emerging problems? "We are working, and we have put solutions out," said Herbert. "In fact, as part of this, Atos acquired Blue Kiwi one and a half years ago, which is an enterprise social media platform."

"Today we can have a customer in Hong Kong, they can have the data centre in Hong Kong, but all the operations for the data centre is all controlled in Malaysia," he said. "When something needs technical intervention, it can either be from Hong Kong, from India, from Malaysia, or from Singapore. Some countries do not have a certain kind of resources. So you can compensate that by getting it from other companies. But as a virtual team, they are working. And this is in fact, something that has been happening a lot. I'm sure other companies are also functioning the same way, not just Atos. Of course, some other countries started becoming very protective. My view about that is, and I have talked to some of these countries, they think that if I have a computer in my country, I can protect it. It's not the case anymore. Snowden has proved that. People are hacking everywhere. Then we come to security. Security will be something very important in this new world, this enterprise without boundaries. And this is something  Atos is very used to. As you know, Atos is a worldwide technology partner for the Beijing Olympics. And during the Olympics, any hacker worth his name will try and hack into the system. And we have a team of security experts, which is always trying to stay two steps ahead of them."

Four major trends for 2014

Atos has identified four major trends for this year- demographic, trust, sustainability, and globalization. What do these trends mean?

Leung first talked about demographics. "The three generations and the digital kids are now in the workforce," he said. "Digital natives who grow up with Internet and computer, they are very comfortable (in the new environment). And when they do things, they want it to be done immediately. They are used to that. So you have this kind of people in the workforce. In Atos we have, in our customers we have, and in government also, we have this kind of people. This drives a lot of change. Their demands... they want things faster."

"Trust is about security, but it's also about trust between employees and employers," he said. "When we talk about trust, its trust for the government. The government will have to reach a point where they (citizens) have to start trusting. Today, trust is not "there" yet, especially with the latest (Snowden) episode from US. And Australia's trust is being challenged, big-time. But what we see, is where the trend is going, the evolution is going. That trust eventually needs to be there, otherwise the system will just break down. And we are a part of the solution ... If we can build a system, and convince people how secure they are, whether their information could be kept confidential, that will build the trust. And regarding trust between employee and employer, today you can have so much access to so much information. And when we talk about the blurring of private and professional lives, there is a certain amount of security everybody needs."

 

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