Similar to last year, the CIO Conference was held alongside the CXO Conference Singapore 2016.
First to the stage was Meredith Whalen, Senior Vice President of IT Executive and Industry Research from IDC. According to her, 2016 will be the year of digital divide for organisations that have yet to find their stride as there is an increasing number of companies that have successfully created new revenue steams and transformed the customer experience through digital transformation.
To narrow this gap, organisations that are lagging behind should leverage IDC's 3-dimensional (3D) leadership roadmap for digital transformation, which identifies the three areas where businesses especially need strong direction from IT. In short, CIOs need to innovate with the business to create a digital enterprise, integrate digital capabilities with enterprise, and incorporate new techniques and tech into the IT organisation.
Addressing digital disruption
Next, Sundi Balu, Telstra's CIO Global Enterprise & Services and International, provided tips on addressing the various disruptions faced by organisations today. CIOs should first be an enabler to business units by understanding and catering to the different units' requirements to prevent shadow IT. CIOs should also enable the different business teams to collaborate, have a clear cloud strategy, and ensure that their networks will be able to meet the current and future needs of their organisations.
The need for hybrid cloud
Given the pressure to expand into new markets, speed time to market, and reduce overall costs, IT teams are increasingly turning to cloud to meet those demands. However, which type of cloud should they turn to?
According to Mauro David Sauco, Head of Technical Sales of IBM Cloud, ASEAN, even though the public cloud is fast to deploy, scalable and easy to use, its performance may be irregular and locks in an organisation to a particular vendor. Meanwhile, while a private cloud offers security controls and can be integrated to existing IT infrastructure, it may not be scalable and may require a considerably large amount of capital and manpower.
As such, Sauco believes that "hybrid cloud is the way to go as it provides the benefits of both private and public cloud." However, CIOs need to ensure that they are able to integrate, manage and secure hybrid environments seamlessly in order to reap the benefits of hybrid cloud, he added.
The back office is now the front office
Next to the stage was Stuart Smith, Chief of Digital Service Innovation & Design, National University of Singapore (Institute of Systems Science), who asserted that back office operations are increasingly becoming front office operations, especially with the rising demand for seamless omni-channel experience. "For example, if you file tax returns on Singapore's tax website, you're interacting directly with the back office system as you're updating the actual database."
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