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Lack of IT talent may slow APAC business

Anuradha Shukla | May 24, 2016
Prevent organisations from keeping up with the pace of change.

Sixty-nine percent of CIOs in APAC believe a lack of talent will prevent their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change.

The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey says CIOs are challenged by the greatest technology skills shortage since the global financial crisis in 2008.

Forty-four percent of respondents selected data analytics as the most in-demand skill for the second year in the APAC region, which is 5 percent higher than the global average.

The same percentage of CIOs in APAC feel better equipped than their global counterparts (41 percent) to keep up with the pace of change.

Digital disruption and change

As tracked over the years in Harvey Nash's annual CIO Surveys, organisations are seeking to get a better handle on digital disruption, and this year the findings demonstrate that the APAC region is clearly ahead of the curve.Only 9 percent of respondents across APAC (compared to 13 percent globally) have no digital strategy and no plans for one.

The adoption of Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) within organisations across APAC is also in line with the global rate of 20 percent, with Singapore being the most digitally advanced market in the region (as 41 per cent have a CDO). 

Japan, however, lags behind global counterparts in digital focus with only 17 per cent of organisations having a CDO or digital lead.  Nearly three-quarters of leaders in Japan (72 percent) report to being held back on innovation due to a lack of resources or funding. Japan said they are struggling to keep up with pace of digital disruption and change.

The survey also found that CIOs in APAC are faced with more cyber-attacks than their global counterparts. In the last two years, 32 percent of APAC CIOs had to respond to a major IT security or cyber-attack on behalf of their organisation, as compared to 28 percent globally.

Despite this, only 18 percent of CIOs in APAC feel confident their organisation is very well prepared to identify and respond to cyber-attacks.

The changing role of the CIO

The survey also highlights how CIO priorities continue to shift, revealing the focus is now on IT projects that make money (69 percent), compared to save money (31 percent), enabling CIOs to be more creative and increase their influence. 

"[The CIO] role is being stretched in many directions, said Nick Marsh, Managing Director of Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC. "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. Adaptability, influencing skills and an ability to keep a clear head in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today's CIO."


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