CIOs in APAC face the greatest tech skills shortage since the 2008 GFC as concerns about cyber-attacks continue to grow, according to Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey. Conversely, the APAC region is ahead of the curve in handling digital disruption and CIOs feel better equipped to handle the pace of change than global counterparts.
The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey revealed that in the APAC region, over two-thirds (69 per cent in APAC / 65 per cent globally) of CIOs say they believe a lack of talent will prevent their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change.
Now in its 18th year, the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey offers fascinating insight into the issues faced by CIOs across the globe. In the APAC region, data analytics was the most in-demand skill for the second year, selected by 44 per cent of respondents, 5 per cent higher than the global average. The biggest jump in skill demand year-on-year globally is digital, up 21 per cent followed by security, up 17 per cent.
The majority of CIOs in APAC feel better equipped than their global counterparts to keep up with the pace of change, 44 per cent across APAC in comparison to 41 per cent globally. However, 72 per cent of technology leaders in Japan report they are struggling to keep up with the pace of digital disruption and change.
The adoption of Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) within organisations across APAC is in line with the global rate of 20 per cent, however Singapore stands out as not only the most digitally advanced market in APAC (41 per cent have a CDO), but also one of the most advanced markets globally.
As tracked over the years in Harvey Nash’s annual CIO Surveys, organisations are seeking to get a better handle on digital disruption, and this year the findings demonstrate that the APAC region is clearly ahead of the curve.
The number of IT leaders reporting an enterprise-wide digital business vision and strategy increased to 40 per cent (compared with 35 per cent globally), an 8 per cent jump from last year and an additional one in four (24 per cent) have digital strategies for individual business units.
As digital increasingly becomes critical to businesses, only 9 per cent of respondents across APAC (compared to 13 per cent globally) have no digital strategy and no plans for one. CIOs in APAC are faced with more cyber-attacks than their global counterparts, with 32 per cent of APAC CIOs having to respond to a major IT security or cyber-attack on behalf of their organisation in the last two years, versus 28 per cent globally.
Less than a fifth of CIOs in the region (18 per cent in APAC / 22 per cent globally) feel confident their organisation is very well prepared to identify and respond to cyber-attacks, compared to more than a quarter in 2015. CIOs in Japan are the least prepared, with only 11 per cent being confident that their organisation is prepared to identify and respond to cyber-attacks.
“Whilst the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey reveals the CIO is enjoying unprecedented influence, it also demonstrates the role is being stretched in many directions,” said Nick Marsh, Managing Director of Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC.
“From grappling with increasing cyber security threats, to working with the board on innovation and digital transformation, CIOs in 2016 are dealing with a more varied range of challenges than ever before, many of which are far removed from the realms of traditional IT. Adaptability, influencing skills and an ability to keep a clear head in uncertain times are becoming increasingly important business skills for today’s CIO.”
“The role of the CIO in today’s business is truly focused on innovation,” said Bob Hayward, Head, Asia Pacific CIO Advisory Centre of Excellence, KPMG in Singapore. “CIOs are no longer focused solely on delivering the right technology to enable the enterprise; rather they are now the key agent of change for moving enterprise strategy forward. This survey confirms that more than ever before, IT leaders must be strategic partners with the CEO.”
The role of the CIO has never been more relevant or influential. More CIOs globally report directly to the CEO (34 per cent) than at any time in the past decade, rising 10 per cent over the last year.
The survey also highlights how CIO priorities continue to shift, revealing the focus is now on IT projects that make money (almost two thirds, 69 per cent), compared to save money (31 per cent), enabling CIOs to be more creative and increase their influence.
72 per cent of CIOs across APAC feel they are becoming more strategic in their organisations, 47 per cent expect to increase their IT headcount over the next year and 52 per cent plan to increase the budget – all positive news for CIOs across the region.
Additional APAC findings from the 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey include:
The rise of digital continues – Singapore shines whilst Japan struggles
Skills Shortages – Increased Competition for Talent
Diversity – Advances for Women in Tech
Life for a CIO in APAC
Agile technologies and outsourcing:
Image credit: sim.edu.sg