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Asian CIOs recognise need to adapt leadership style

CIOs in Asia are more bullish about digital tech than the rest of the world, according to a new Gartner survey.

The research found that 84 per cent of CIOs in Southeast Asia recognised that they need to adapt their leadership style over the next three years in order to “succeed in digital business”, which was considerably higher than the global average of 75 per cent (the report questioned 2,800 CIOs worldwide over 84 countries).

Chief Information Officers in Southeast Asia are also expecting a bigger increase in IT budget this year, with a 3.6 per cent uptick in funding expected there compared to a 1 per cent worldwide average.

More Asian companies also have a deputy CIO in place to take care of daily IT operations, with 68 per cent of CIOs having a second-in-command in Southeast Asia, a big leap over the 47 per cent global average.

However, most CIOs agreed that the ‘digital age’ is bringing new risks (86 per cent in Asia), and 81 per cent of execs in Southeast Asia felt their current risk management strategies were not keeping pace with this increased risk (compared to a more steady, but still high, 69 per cent globally).

Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner, commented: “This recognition of ineffective risk management investments is a good first step toward remediating the problem.

“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 per cent of CIOs in the region [of Southeast Asia].”

The report also examined the technology priorities for CIOs in 2015, and globally, the number one priority was Business Intelligence and analytics, followed by infrastructure and data centre, and then cloud in third place. ERP and mobile were ranked fourth and fifth respectively (Asia had the same top five priorities, save for mobile and cloud switching place).

Cleary, BI is going to be the big thing this year if CIO’s opinions are anything to go by (and they should be, obviously).