Photo - Ong Ken Teong, Country Manager, Avanade Malaysia.
According to a new study by IT managed services provider Avanade, a new 'services broker' model for IT is developing in Malaysia as 86 percent of local business leaders said that they want their IT staff to expand their roles to become advisors to the business by 2015.
Avanade Malaysia country manager Ong Ken Teong said the study ["What Malaysian Business Leaders Say About Their IT Department"] identified that the new 'services broker' model required IT staff to consult with departments across the business to better understand their technology needs and objectives and source internal or external IT services or partners to meet these demands.
Ong said the study showed that ore than one-third (38 per cent) of companies' IT departments already act primarily as services brokers today. For companies whose IT departments are structured this way, 80 per cent report they will expand the role of IT services broker in the next 12 months.
In addition, 86 per cent of Malaysian companies report their IT department is contributing more to accomplishing business objectives than they did three years ago, he said.
Ong said 95 percent of respondents said they are comfortable with IT staff interacting directly with important clients and partners in a consultancy role while 87 percent of executives reported their IT department has more influence when making technology decisions in the next 12 months.
He said 76 percent of C-level executives said the IT department today has "an employee-centric culture" while 87 percent of companies report that their IT staff value feedback from employees across other departments on technology solutions.
Business skills in key areas
"As IT takes on the new role of services broker, Malaysian businesses can expect the influence of IT to grow, new IT skills to be in demand, and new outside partners to drive IT initiatives," said Ong.
He said business leaders in Malaysia want IT to build skills in key areas that will help them source innovative technologies to solve business problems for employees, customers and partners in an increasingly digital world. "C-level executives reported a need for more skills in compliance, security and privacy (56 per cent) and service and system integration (51 per cent)."
Ong said the findings also reflect IT consulting firm Accenture's High Performers in IT: Defined by Digital report, which showed that companies with high performing IT organisations tended to invest in IT to also deliver strategic capabilities to the business.
"Forward-looking companies are positioning their IT staff as business advisors and see IT contributing more to accomplishing objectives, and driving positive business results than ever before," he said.
Avanade's survey, which was conducted in February 2014 by Wakefield Research, surveyed 1,003 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision makers, at the major companies in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
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