PIKOM Urges ‘Top IT Management to Take Bigger Role to Drive Business’

May 4, 2016 :

With increasing digitisation and the growing role of Information and Communications Technology in today’s complex business environment, the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) calls for corporate executives holding top ICT positions in the company, to play a greater leadership role in driving the organisations to greater overall business performance.

PIKOM Chairman, Chin Chee Seong says that regardless of the industry vertical or sector, the role of ICT and technology is undeniable in supporting the business.
Chin Chee Seong, Pikom Chairman

“In fact, technology can be considered the single investment that can support the business in a holistic manner. Automation is pervasive at all functional levels of the organisation, and business analytics is heavily relied on for strategic decision-making,” says Chin.

Based on this development, rather than adopting the customary “reactive” approach with regards to ICT investment, top IT management such as Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and senior IT directors, are encouraged to be more vocal at the boardroom level to drive for greater technology investments and deployment in the business.

“In today’s highly digitised, on-demand and globalised business environment, CIOs and CTOs must proactively look to advocate any areas of the business that can gain competitive edge with the support of specific new technologies or solutions.

Chin says that given the increasing reliance and utilisation of technology, CIOs and CTOs should have a greater say in the company. “CIOs and CTOs can help themselves by researching and showcasing clear case studies for the adoption of new technologies as well as how ICT can be incorporated in a pro-active manner to deliver strong and exacting business value.”

Rapid growth of new trends such as cloud computing, mobile devices, social media and ‘Big Data’ can no longer be ignored as these have propelled ICT to the forefront of business. In helping businesses better prepare for these developments, the niched expertise and experience of CIOs and CEOs should be tapped so that ICT evolves from a business support role into a strategic business enabler.

Recent statistics of the ICT Industry in the United States presented data that supports PIKOM’s call to the local Malaysian industry:
  • 51% of CIOs strongly agree that they are taking the lead in pioneering new digital approaches within their business.
  • 53% of CIOs hold a seat at the executive management table, compared with just 17% of CIOs in all industries.
  • 38% of CIOs within ICT intensive industries are highly engaged on core strategic issues.

ICT Still Generally Viewed As a Secondary or Support Role

As of now, many of the top ICT Management positions such as CIOs & CTOs still play second fiddle at the C-Suite level – often reporting to the CFO, who then reports to the CEO and the Board of Directors (“BOD”).

By and large, companies still adopt a passive stance with regards to ICT. The push to make solution upgrades or purchase new technologies is a direct result of a negative incident i.e. failed system, security / data breach, system downturn that resulted in a financial or business loss. It is often an afterthought or reactionary deployment as a direct result of a business incident or mandatory requirement.

Chin stresses, “The onus is ultimately on CIOs and CTOs to show the way forward in being champions of technology within their organisations. If they desire to play a bigger leadership role in driving the business – to convince the BOD to invest in ICT and evolve into an ICT-centric organization, then step forward with strong ideas that leverage on ICT to give the business a leading edge.”

”Today, businesses are being disrupted by technology. New business models such as Uber, Grab, AirBnB are changing the way business operates. The new on-demand, shared economy is shaking the very basis of existing players. It is imperative that businesses innovate to remain relevant.”

On its part, PIKOM as “The Voice of the ICT Industry” plays its role to support local CIOs and CTOs via its CIO Chapter – a specialised network for C-Level ICT professionals dedicated to promote knowledge sharing, exchange of ideas and best practices; as well as support ICT professionals in their drive to bring greater ICT adoption into organisations in Malaysia. Individuals who are head of ICT in their organisations with an annual RM10 million budget or more may join the Chapter. For more information, contact PIKOM at 03-40650078 or visit us at www.pikom.org.my.