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Malaysia’s IT Alignment Challenge

Onn Lau Chak | April 26, 2011
Some 80 Malaysian executives from government and private enterprise gathered at the annual CIO conference 2011 in Kuala Lumpur’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, to deliberate on the challenge of executive harmony.

Puckridge advised organisations to pick small parts of their business that they think can be quick wins, to see what kind of differences good document management can make. 

The Great Debate – Malaysia
Proposition: ‘CIOs are now true business technologists properly valued by their enterprises’.

The YES team may have been at a slight disadvantage, because speakers had earlier already highlighted the perceived lack of innovation in Malaysia businesses.

YES team captain, Varanasi, opened by stating that CIOs “have come along way, moving clearly away from day to day roles, empowering their underlings, to focus more on business outcomes – revenue, growth, and sustainability in a globalised marketplace,” he said. He also mentioned progress, such as the forming of a CIO chapter by PIKOM, which has grown substantially.

NO team captain, Singh, argued Bobby’s case of PIKOM’s year-old CIO chapter that “was formed to help CIOs that weren’t there yet and still needed further nurturing”.

Singh said: “Most CIOs tell me that they have been cornered by the board, with CEOs and directors telling them to just ‘get my data’. They haven’t been given the opportunity to think beyond those boundaries,”.

“Unfortunately, CIOs aren’t given the room to innovate,” Azmi said. “As long as the CIO is given a shrink-wrapped copy of a demo product by a CEO with a note ‘why don’t you try this… I heard It’s pretty good’, he isn’t really valued, no matter what the pay cheque.”

Allan M. Lee, CEO of Rotunda Point, argued that “opportunities to think have little to do with being a CIO or CFO, but are up to the individual.”

The YES team gave good examples of progress with technology innovation, such as the improvements in Malaysian passport and tax services, online banking, and travel bookings. “They used to take two days to get your passport and now it only takes you two hours,” said Hood Abu Bakar, General Manager of MISC’s ICT Division. This is a CIO implementation.” The NO team argued that these were still very much the exceptions and not the rule.

The victory was decided by way of SMS votes from the audience, leading to the NO team winning by a vote of 33-8.


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