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Guest View: Intense business competition seals IT-Marketing partnerships

Sandra Ng | July 2, 2013
Addressing an increasingly complex IT-business environment

Asian C-suite executives are investing in ICT to build a more secured IT infrastructure, address an increasingly complex IT+business environment and tackle talent shortage in an intensively competitive marketplace.

The top technology spending identified by the C-suite are mobility, security and business continuity/availability as well as software applications including software-as-a-service (SaaS) as businesses actively look to ICT to woo new customers, manage escalating operations cost and introduce new innovations to compete differently.

The increasing influence of Line of Business (LoB) is impacting CIOs and their IT departments. While not all companies have allowed, intentionally or otherwise, LoB to influence or procure technology investments, more CIOs are collaborating with LoB to improve the business outcomes of ICT projects.

This year, IDC has identified the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) community as the partner of choice and benefit for CIOs with mobility as the top technology spending category. Marketeers in Asia/Pacific clearly understand that mobility is the online platform and customer engagement channel. Already more than one-fifth of the CMO respondents have direct IT budget and procurement authority in their organisations.

With the convergence of social media/business, mobility, business analytics and cloud, the power of CIO+CMO cannot be under-estimated. Businesses and governments who are looking at finding innovative ideas to propel forward in highly competitive markets where economic growth is slowing and markets are becoming borderless, understand this and other CIO+LoB partnerships are critical.

IDC believes that the role of the CIO will not be eliminated anytime soon. The rising dependence on technology and the growing need for governance, compliance and regulations (GRC) in supporting and enabling business mean that ICT roles will still play a significant part in organisations. The challenge is in the ability of IT executives to deliver business value.

These are some of the key findings from the IDC Asia/Pacific C-suite Barometer 2013, an annual C-level research conducted to understand business and technology priorities, concerns and challenges. Each year, IDC modifies the questionnaire to take into account the latest dynamics and evolving procurement and consumption behaviours.

This year, over 1,000 C-level executives participated, including 496 CIO/CTO (i.e. traditional technology buyers), 325 CMO and 182 CFO/other LoB. More than half of the respondents have C-level titles and all are in-region decision makers within their organisations.

Business+tech priorities across the region

Respondents identified their top business priorities as operational efficiency and productivity (22 percent); overall cost savings (20 percent) and market expansion (12 percent).

To increase operational efficiency and productivity, respondents say they are increasingly focusing on delivering automation from IT.

Last year, businesses focused on finding new customers and reducing customer churn. This year, however, the emphasis is on white space opportunities.


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