96% CIOs in Hong Kong Focus on Innovation as a Top-Most Business Priority in 2017

February 2, 20171:22 pm667 views

96 percent CIOs in Hong Kong are implementing measures to boost innovation efforts as a top-most business priority in 2017.

According to an independent survey from specialist recruiter Robert Half, Hong Kong Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are increasingly embracing the innovation trend. When asked to rate how innovative they think their company is on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not innovative; 5 = highly innovative), less than one fifth (13 percent) of Hong Kong CIOs gave themselves a score of 5 out of 5.

The majority still believe there is room for improvement as the average score given by CIOs is 3.7 out of 5.

Adam Johnston, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said: “As one of the world’s key commercial hubs, Hong Kong businesses are increasingly adopting innovative methods to drive their company agenda. Moreover, by pioneering innovation, Hong Kong companies are increasing their competitiveness within the global market space at a time when many regional competitors are offering lower cost structures.”

How Can Hong Kong Companies Boost Innovation?

The overall majority of Hong Kong companies are taking measures to boost innovation with an approach that consists of a combination of both technology and people. Data infrastructure tops the list with more than half (53 percent) of Hong Kong CIOs planning to build more data centres to leverage data more efficiently.

Almost half (49 percent) will reshape network infrastructure to improve operational processes, followed by 41 percent, who plan to hire new IT talent with unique skills needed to build more innovative business.

Measures CIOs will take to build a more innovative business over the next 12 months:

Building data centres to leverage data more efficiently 53%
Reshaping network infrastructure to improve operational processes 49%
Employing IT talent with in-demand/unique skills 41%
Developing new technology tools to improve customer experience (e.g. App development) 34%
Developing/enhancing software 31%
Focusing on a more collaborative work environment 26%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 Hong Kong CIOs

“The main drivers of IT innovation – mobile, cloud, and Big Data technologies are giving Hong Kong companies a competitive edge in the delivery of services and improved productivity. Leveraging these technologies and building on them doesn’t only have the potential to enhance the customer experience and reduce costs but it also boosts employee productivity which in turn has a positive impact on overall company success,” Adam Johnston said.

With almost all of the Hong Kong CIOs surveyed (98 percent) saying that it is challenging to find skilled IT staff, having an innovative corporate culture can serve as a point of difference to attract and retain top IT talent.

Successfully fostering a culture of innovation calls for ongoing investment in both IT infrastructure and human resources. However, Hong Kong companies face an extremely competitive environment when it comes to attracting high calibre IT professionals, and businesses face a notable shortage of IT talent – particularly those with niche skills.

Here are some tips to foster a culture of innovation in the workplace:

  1. Capture ideas: By failing to capture and build on creative ideas as they are formed, businesses could miss out on valuable innovative solutions.
  2. Encourage employees to speak up: Every employee needs to feel encouraged to speak up and contribute their views on how to make innovative improvements to the business.
  3. Create a culture of innovation: Leaders must foster a culture that supports new ideas. This includes developing clear structures and processes to identify, develop and implement innovative ideas.
  4. Develop the talent in your organisation: Staff development is integral to innovation. It promotes innovation skills like personal responsibility, understanding of errors and visionary thinking.
  5. Remove the barriers: Innovation relies on both financial and technological possibilities. IT must support innovation with modern technologies like data analytics and cloud technology, while remaining attractive to IT professionals at the same time.

“Skilled IT professionals are actively looking for opportunities where they can make a meaningful contribution to developing and driving innovation. Not surprisingly, the best IT talent is attracted to those Hong Kong companies with a reputation for embracing innovation. This being the case, companies need to send a powerful message to the market that they are focused on this, and maintain a visibly innovative culture, in order to attract and retain the best IT employees,” Adam Johnston concludes.


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