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TC Seow | Feb. 19, 2016
Back in September 2015, SOHO Global Health announced further investments in K2, an enterprise business application platform, to be its business technology of choice to fuel its next phase of growth. We speak to Denny Charlie, Executive Vice President and CIO, on some of the challenges that he faces and how he is overcoming them.

SOHO Global Health is one of Indonesia's largest pharmaceutical companies with operations in manufacturing, commercialisation and provisioning of health products and services. Among SOHO Global Health's principal products includes natural and traditional medicine products, medical equipment, raw material trading as well as logistics services.

Back in September 2015, SOHO announced further investments in K2, an enterprise business application platform, to be its business technology of choice to fuel its next phase of growth. We speak to Denny Charlie, Executive Vice President and CIO, on some of the challenges that he faces and how he is overcoming them.

Q: Given that Indonesia is such a large country with a vast geographical spread, what kinds of challenges do you face in your organisation?

Denny Charlie: I think most CIOs think in the same way, that is to maximise efficiency while keeping cost down. The first is to address the growing need for agility in whatever we do. The business we're in is a very dynamic one, and coupled with fast-changing technology, we cannot afford to make the wrong decisions or retrofit legacy systems here and there to gain piecemeal improvements. This will not help the business. Internally, we've been looking at how we can use cloud to our benefit, not just to move some data centres outside to realise cost savings but to also look at hybrid clouds that will allow us to keep what's core within, and yet achieve enterprise-level flexibility.

The second is the technical limitation of our old platform. Right now, we're rolling out SAP applications which in many ways will allow us to do things the old system could not - without massive customisation and testing. Business reports taking getting longer to prepare, and the processes are getting longer. Of course, you save money in the short term by not changing the platform, but in the long run, there will be more problems than solutions.

The third challenge is closely related to consumerisation of IT, where everybody now works with a mobile device. We need to balance accessibility with productivity. There is no direct solution here, but we need to engage the people, know what their needs are, and to help them see that their mobile device not as an endpoint but a doorway to different apps, data, etc. We need to know how to help them raise their productivity.

Fourth is the Internet of Things or IoT. We need to face the connected world and be ready for it. But that will depend on priorities. Fifth is security; how we could bridge the security gap.

Q: Do you see yourself playing a bigger role at the board level?

 

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