Week in Review: One different approach, one traditional one

  • MDeC takes an interesting approach to help market its MSC Malaysia companies
  • Cradle takes a back to basics approach to help strengthen companies’ competitiveness

Week in Review: One different approach, one traditional oneCHIEF information officers (CIOs) are in the hot seat of this technological vortex that is going on with buzzwords like big data, cloud, mobility and social beginning to register with their CEOs (chief executive officers).
Not only do they have to manage the complexity that arises from managing any one of these mega forces, but they also have to answer the one question they are likely to get from the CEO and even CMO (chief marketing officer) – “What are we doing to take advantage of this?”
Everybody wants their attention, internally and externally, especially the tech vendors who want to sell their wares.
Now add government agency the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) to the list too. MDeC, the national ICT custodian, has enlisted the help of research firm IDC to come up with a year-long series aimed at CIOs, called the CIO Survival Guide Series.
At first I was puzzled why MDeC would target CIOs of mostly large companies, but then I saw the logic of the strategy. These CIOs are buyers of technology products and services. MDeC is trying to help push its pool of top-tier Malaysian tech companies into the radar of these CIOs.
Engaging with them via this interesting series allows MDeC to build a relationship with the CIOs, while helping them stay on top of the many changes happening in their industry.
Concurrently, MDeC is also working with Gartner to get its top-tier local companies mapped onto Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. This is a graphical based research tool that Gartner uses to provider a broad view of the relative positions of companies and their competitors in particular markets.
At some point MDeC hopes that these CIOs will start considering and have more confidence in the ability of their stable of MSC Malaysia companies to solve some of the problems CIOs face.
But the one problem they can’t help them solve is this the disconnect between what IT wants to do versus what the business wants to achieve. This is a big problem as business wants IT to not just solve technical problems, but also help them tap opportunities.
Yet, according to a leading CIO in the country, “A number of CIOs are actually IT managers and don’t understand the business well enough to be able to add value beyond technical areas, hence the emphasis would be in that area.”
I am not sure how this will play out but one Australian company has actually moved its CMO into the CIO role! How about that for out-of-box thinking?
There is also plenty of space for in-the box thinking, about getting the basics right. And this is what in essence Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd’s Coach and Grow Programme (CGP) is about.
With the help of RM5 million (US$1.6 million) in funding from the Ministry of Finance, Cradle’s project manager for this, Proficeo Sdn Bhd, pulled together 25 seasoned executives as coaches to help the companies that came into the programme.
Their advice ranged from marketing to sales, business model relevance, regional expansion, finance and other aspects.
Now on the surface of this, you would think these are obvious functions of running a business that any entrepreneur worth his salt should know about. But the very reason CGP was launched was because of the realisation that many founders were lacking in many of the requisite business building blocks.
If you read my story, you will find that even seasoned entrepreneurs do not know as much as you think they should. Little wonder that the CGP was a success and that we are now on the verge of CGP2.
So, go ahead and admit you may not know anywhere near as much as you should about growing your business, and get on the fast track to learning all you need by registering for CGP2!
Previous Instalments:
Week in Review: Taking advantage of the runway

Week in Review: Telco tales
Week in Review: MDeC no longer sole ecosystem anchor
Week in Review: All about founders, or the ideas?
Week in Review: Do they owe the ecosystem anything?
Week in Review: GE13 hits the ecosystem … hard

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