Past Roundtable: Singapore

Transform to Better Perform CIO Roundtables Urges
Collaboration With business leaders on innovation
September 16, 2015/Singapore

APAC CIO Roundtable Sees New Paths to Innovation in IT

Traditional IT approaches don’t meet the business needs in today’s hyper-competitive world where a faster time-to-market calls for new tactics, according to executives who gathered in Singapore for the second in a series of CIO roundtables under the global Transform to Better Perform initiative.

The 18 executives reviewed key findings of a global survey of business leaders that showed many leaders were unhappy with the pace of innovation coming from in-house IT departments, particularly in the Asia Pacific region (APAC). The study was undertaken during summer 2015 by the Business Performance Innovation Network (BPI), an organization of technology and business change agents, in collaboration with Dimension Data.

Catching up to Capacity: Closing the IT Gap

In the survey, 29 percent of the business executives in APAC gave a “poor” rating to their IT teams – nearly twice the global response of 15 percent. Seven in 10 said their IT teams were “poor” or just “making progress” towards transforming their groups into a more strategic, responsive and valued business partner.

Though the roundtable discussion was private, the executives had several suggestions to close the gap between business expectations and IT realities. They included:

  • Moving beyond the core technologies on which business have relied for the past 40-60 years.
  • Listening to the insights of line of business managers, which often surpass those of the IT team.
  • Reacting faster because product development cycles have shrunken to three-six months instead of years.
  • Including IT teams early as business leaders consider new product features.
  • More tightly controlling the costs of IT.
  • Evaluating how new technologies surface as real improvements in customer experience.

Steps to Success: Redefining Innovation

“Innovation doesn’t mean that you have to use the latest stuff,” Suk-wah Kwok, CIO for APAC for the Lockton Companies, said in an interview after the closed-door session. “You can use something you’ve never used before. It’s the whole culture of the company that brings you new business. To me that’s innovative enough.”

"Innovation doesn't mean you have to use the latest stuff"
- Suk-wah Kwok

Another theme that surfaced referred to the need for chief marketing officers to iterate to find an innovative business model that takes advantage of new technologies. “The CMO’s objective is to find new business models and it’s not going to be one silver bullet,” Murat Ozturan, CTO for Microsoft Services in APAC, said in another post-roundtable interview. “It’s going to require many tries. Some of them will be successful, like Uber, and some of them will not.”

The Singapore roundtable was the second in a series of three that will examine the survey and its accompanying report, which can be downloaded for free at The first was held in San Francisco, where CIOs focused on the importance of collaboration between business and IT groups to spur innovation. The third, focusing on Europe, will be held in London during November.

If you'd like to know more about the roundtable, or about participating in future events, please contact Sally Lopez:

Past Roundtables


George Rockett
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Steven Tan
Regional Transformation Representative
BPI Network
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Murat Ozturan
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Sanjeev Kumar
ApOn India
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Adrian McPaul
Head of Critical Facilities
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Suk-Wah Kwok
Regional CIO APAC
Lockton Companies
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Gavin O'Reilly
Head of Data Center Services
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Mauro Sauco
VP, Cloud and Advanced Services
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Jahangir Naina
Dimension Data
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Chia Weng Wai
Head of Next Generation Data Centers
Dimension Data
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Ricardos Khoury
President & CEO
Novus Technologies
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Ramachandran Narayanan
Deputy Director, Technology & Innovation,
National Library Board
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