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The HK policy address mystique

Carol Ko | Oct. 16, 2008
Benchmarking I.T. success in Asia

One panelist's remarks at The Hong Kong International Computer Conference (HKICC) 2008 last month left me rather intrigued, which thus propelled me to skim through the Hong Kong 2009 Policy Address yesterday as soon as it was released.

Last month, five panelists took turns to brief the audience their current undertakings in HKICCs first panel discussion titled Integration of the ICT Industry in the PRD Region.

Members in the panel were Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, elected member of the fourth legislative council of the HKSAR; Samson Tam Wai-ho, elected member of IT functional constituency of the fourth legislative council of the HKSAR; Meng Lin, president of Guangzhou Software Cooperation Centre; Qiu Shi, director, general of Zhuhai Municipal Government; and Zhang Keke, vice chairman of Shenzhen Science and Technology Association.

Not surprisingly, most panellists delivered comprehensive introductions of their recent portfolio, while the three representatives from mainland China conveyed their wish to establish closer ties in IT development with Hong Kong.

And very surprisingly, when it came to Samson Tam, he lamented that there would not be much for him to talk about after he found out that Donald Tsang, the chief executive of the HKSAR government, was planning to cover IT in two paragraphs in his upcoming policy address.

I was left puzzled for two reasons. Number one, dont legco members have their own agenda to drive policy development, regardless of the positioning of the chief executive? Number two, what about the Digital 21 Strategy? Isnt it a mini policy address worth examining, in one of Hong Kongs annual computer conferences?

Hubs hubs hubs

To my relief, there were more than two paragraphs mentioning IT in Hong Kong policy address 2009 released yesterday, titled Embracing new challenges.

Page 15 laid down the governments ambition to to strengthen Hong Kong's position as a leading digital city in the world. Notice that the government is further pushing forward its position from Asias IT hub to the worlds IT hub.

For those who are unfamiliar with Hong Kongs scenario, the hub strategy of Hong Kong government has existed since the handover, with the government investing into various hubs such as tourism, IT, Chinese medicine, and science and technology etc.

Remembering Michael Leungs (senior vice president and CIO of China Construction Bank Asia) repeated remarks of Do the right things, and do things right, I do have faith in the Hong Kong governments IT direction (investing in IT development). But has it been doing it right? Are we attempting to transform ourselves into too many hubs, and get ourselves a mouthful of hiccups instead?

Benchmarking I.T. industry

The best way to gauge the success of anything is to benchmark it against its peers. For CIOs, they undoubtedly undergo stringent vendor selection processes and for IT vendors, I am sure they have various tools to benchmark themselves against their competitors.


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