Photo - Sid Deshpande, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner Inc.
Malaysian chief information officers (CIOs) are more confident than their global counterparts when it comes to digital technologies but still need to adapt their leadership style, according to new findings by analyst firm Gartner Inc.
Speaking in Kuala Lumpur of company's latest annual global CIO survey, Gartner principal research analyst Sid Deshpande said that Malaysian CIOs were more confident about digital business than their global counterparts.
The survey found that Malaysia CIOs, like their peers in the rest of the world (ROW), see digital as creating new types and levels of risk - a very high 97 percent for Malaysia and 89 percent for ROW, said Deshpande.
"In addition, while CIOs in Southeast Asia are more bullish about digital technologies than their global counterparts, they are generally more constrained by immature digital risk management processes," he said.
Gartner had asked how CIOs should adapt their leadership to ensure their enterprises survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world. The survey included responses from 117 CIOs from the Southeast Asia region, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Deshpande said 84 percent of Southeast Asia CIOs recognised the need to change their leadership style in the next three years to succeed in digital business, compared with the global average of 75 percent.
To achieve this, 69 percent said that they want to decrease their controlling approach to focus on significantly increasing their visionary and coaching attributes, he said. "To realise the benefits of digital technology investments, CIOs in the region really need to innovate on people and process opportunities."
Gartner's annual survey of more than 2,810 CIOs worldwide, represents more than US$397 billion in CIO IT budgets in 84 countries.
Immature risk management
Deshpande said immature risk management constrained CIOs. According to the survey, 86 percent of CIOs in Southeast Asia agree that in addition to the considerable opportunities it brings, the digital world is creating new, different and higher levels of risk.
However, 81 percent believe their current investments in risk management are unable to keep up with the increasing digital risk to which their organisations are exposed, compared with 69 percent globally, he said.
"This recognition of ineffective risk management investments is a good first step toward remediating the problem," he said. "Changing risk management approaches for the digital era will require CIOs to increase employee awareness and foster a digital risk culture within the organisation. The 'flip' from technology to digital risk will also provide organisations with the agility to respond to unexpected risks, which was a concern for 93 percent of CIOs in the region, including Malaysia."
Speaking of technology priorities for 2015, Deshpande said that business intelligence and analytics topped the list of technology priorities for CIOs in 2015, followed by infrastructure and data centre, both in Southeast Asia and globally (see Table).
The results also showed that CIOs in the region are significantly more enthusiastic in their mobile approaches than their global counterparts, with mobile and cloud having swapped places to list at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in Southeast Asia.
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