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CIO Summit 2012 Malaysia: "Freedom to Business and Control to IT"

F.Y. Teng | Aug. 31, 2012
Vinod R. Venkatasubramanian of Cognizant Mobility Practice shows the way to secure infrastructures and freedom for business users that together spell highly successful mobility initiatives.

In the consumer care industry, we are enabling better planning and execution of the sales cycle for the distributed sales force of a global company in the ASEAN region. Using their mobile devices, sales teams can constantly be in touch with the area managers and provide frequent updates into the system-allowing better collaboration and faster course correction when necessary, leading to higher, or enhanced, target achievements.

In the retail and consumer goods industry, we have helped our customers launch mobile websites to allow customers to purchase their products. Initially targeted at mature online markets such as Japan and Korea, our customer is also receiving good response from growth markets such as China. Consumers have clearly shown intent to engage through the mobile channel and as a result, our customer expects to increase their investment next year.

In the power utility and manufacturing industries, we have helped our customers empower their field force and service personnel. Forward-thinking executives at these companies saw the use of mobile devices in growth markets like China and Indonesia as a differentiator to be more efficient and present a more professional face to the customer. We are helping our customers issue tablet devices to their service personnel, loaded with various applications to access contract documents, repair history, preventive repairs, CRM and other necessary functions. These would help reduce the turn-around time for servicing, thereby increasing efficiencies and creating a higher degree of customer loyalty.

In addition to the above, we are seeing strong interest in mobility in the advanced economies in the ASEAN region. Many of our customers have executed pilots in 2012 and collected data to initiate larger projects in 2013.

How do all these initiatives in Asia compare with those of their counterparts elsewhere in the world?
This is really a mixed bag. We are seeing both extremes: Some global companies whose future growth is in Asia-Pacific are grabbing the opportunity and attention to invest in technologies such as mobility, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach or importing initiatives done elsewhere in the world. In at least two of the above examples, forward-thinking executives-both in business and IT-in the region have gone "all-in" on mobility, making careful investments ahead of the demand curve. These pioneering initiatives are being watched by their Western counterparts to determine investments in their own regions.

That said, while Western counterparts find it slower to kick off radically new thoughts and initiatives, their counterparts here have been able to do so due to the lesser effect of legacy-in terms of thinking and systems.

Overall, we see a higher rate of risk-taking in the region than earlier, which is likely a factor of anticipation of higher growth rates. However, it is still low compared to countries such as the US. Greater focus on Asia-Pacific, investments and autonomy-in the case of global companies-will surely encourage executives to adopt unproven technologies in order to meet or exceed even higher expectations.

 

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