Malaysian CIOs shifting focus from IT efficiency to IT effectiveness

  • CIO to transform into a manager of services from manager of technology
  • Most Malaysian organisations still at early stage of cloud service adoption
 Malaysian CIOs shifting focus from IT efficiency to IT effectiveness

THE results of a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) study commissioned by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) show that Malaysian chief information officers (CIOs) are staring to shift their focus from IT efficiency to IT effectiveness.
In 2014 and beyond, the enterprise IT function will be judged on the success in meeting the demands of business users rather than reductions in technology operations costs, IDC said in a statement.
The study showed that most Malaysian organisations are still at an early stage of cloud service adoption, with mostly ad hoc and opportunistic use of commodity and non-critical cloud services, IDC said.
This is typical of the first stages of clod adoption and an emerging understanding of cloud services use. It shows a continuing focus on cost control of IT functions rather than an awareness of how cloud services have evolved to provide business as well as technology services, the research and analyst firm added.
“A better understanding of cloud usage patterns in other markets will provide excellent insight, but the art and science of managing IT in Malaysia will need to continue its current evolution,” said Chris Morris (pic above), associate vice president, Services Asia Pacific, Lead Analysts of Cloud Services & Technologies, IDC Asia/Pacific.
“Cloud services must be managed and optimised for the target business environment to deliver full value.
“The transformation of a CIO into a manager of services rather than a manager of technology will significantly alter the management of a traditional IT department.
“A CIO could become a broker of services for business, sourcing the best solution to the line-of-business (LOB) demands; however, this solution will create many challenges in the service delivery management,” Morris added.
The results were presented to Malaysians CIOs in the second workshop of the CIO Survival Guide Series, themed Survival of the Cloud Fittest, organised by MDeC.
MDeC manages the MSC Malaysia (Multimedia Super Corridor) project which aims to nurture the growth of Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the IT industry whilst attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest and develop solutions in Malaysia.
In 2011, MDeC’s mandate was broadened to include driving Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy by 2020 through the Digital Malaysia programme.
Malaysian CIOs shifting focus from IT efficiency to IT effectiveness“MDeC realises the value and potential of cloud computing and is continuously working with ICT industry players, stakeholders and other government agencies in driving the cloud computing revolution in Malaysia,” said MDeC chief operating officer Ng Wan Peng (pic).
“Our efforts through the Cloud Computing Enablement Initiative under MSC Malaysia and incorporating cloud computing as one of Digital Malaysia’s eight projects have helped to spur the development of cloud computing in this country further.
“By getting more Malaysian businesses to turn to the cloud for their needs, we will become one step closer to becoming a developed digital economy to be reckoned with,” she added.
The current state of cloud development in among Malaysian IT enterprises:

  • Shift of IT investment focus from cost minimisation to IT departments
Malaysian enterprises are shifting focus from cost minimisation to actively driving IT departments to innovate more quickly as a way of boosting revenue and profit. This will be an additional pressure for any CIOs from new directions.

In 2014, it is believed that CIOs must externally source more of the required IT services which will often be delivered from the cloud.

  • IT departments react slowly when moving from a tactical focus on efficiency
Malaysian enterprises must move from delivering cost-effective services to a more challenging goal of being more strategic and effective. This is a vital transition for any businesses because the best solution is not the cheapest when assessed against the business goals.
  • The awareness level of cloud benefits in medium-sized organisations is higher compared to larger organisations
LOB managers are more interested in high-value business services delivered by IT to meet business goals. CIOs will start looking at service delivery in a different way when assessing IT on this basis.
This heightened awareness means LOB managers are less burdened by legacy systems, allowing medium-sized organisations to be able to position themselves advantageously for future growth and competitiveness.
  • Not ready to use cloud services for business-critical functions
There is a lingering focus on tactical goals for cloud deployment but slowly growing understanding on the importance of the strategic value of cloud services in Malaysia; however, large enterprises are still not well advanced about how cloud services can best be used.
These could be caused by a number of factors:
  • Immaturity of services available
  • Opaque legislation
  • Lack of cloud skills
  • Low understanding of building a business case based on business value instead of cost saving

IDC predicts by 2017, most Malaysian organisations will be using cloud services from different suppliers to meet different business needs, dramatically changing the way in which business goals can be achieved and the role of the Malaysian CIO.
This second workshop of CIO Survival Guide Series examines different stages of cloud development among Malaysian IT organisations and provides solutions to improving the assimilation rate of new services into leading companies.
Go to for more information about the joint educational workshop.
Related Stories:
MDeC and IDC launch second CIO Survival Guide Series
The CIO: The cloud changes the game even more
Has the cloud finally 'arrived' in Malaysia?
Malaysia a good market for cloud service providers: EMC
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