Gartner: How CIOs can change IT management in 100 days
To tackle issues of digital business leadership, more CIOs are setting up an “office of the CIO” (OCIO) for support. And CIOs in Australia and New Zealand are no different.
An OCIO should comprise a small team that looks after how IT is managed across an organisation. The team, which should report to the CIO, should ensure that IT operations are well run, and should contribute to business growth through IT-enabled business innovation. This will give the CIO more time to focus on enterprisewide IT leadership.
Speaking ahead of his track at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Cape Town, managing vice president at Gartner, Lee Weldon said: “Whether you’re starting a new OCIO or reinvigorating an existing one, accurate preparation, assessment, planning, execution, measurement and, first and foremost, communication are paramount for success.”
Choosing the right team leader is vital, as this person needs to have credibility with both business and IT leaders, and be someone the CIO trusts. Each team member should be similarly business-minded, analytical, influential and proactive.
Weldon and Gartner lay out what the first 100 days of the office of the CIO should focus on
Days 1 to 30: Analyse, analyse, analyse…
In the beginning, the goal is to analyse and understand the issues that the OCIO team needs to address, and to establish a clear set of priorities. The team should ask questions such as the following: “What impact are we having on business outcomes or customer experiences, and what skills are core to our ability to differentiate as a business?”
The team should also assess, for example, IT strategy, IT metrics and IT spending, to obtain as much insight as possible.
“The insight provided by this analysis phase will help the team achieve ‘quick wins’ to show its value, and to help identify the IT organisation’s long-term priorities,” said Weldon.
Days 31 to 100: Focus on priorities, while achieving quick wins
The OCIO team needs to start this phase by ensuring the IT organisation is doing the right things, which include creating a strategy to identify priorities and refreshing the strategy process. Second, the OCIO needs to ensure the governance model is “fit for purpose,” that the IT organisation knows who the decision makers are, and that the right people are engaged in the right decision-making forums.
Next, ensure that the IT organisation is doing things right by focusing on managing and measuring its performance. The OCIO should ensure clear links to business outcomes and business value. It also needs to assess whether the IT organisation is set up optimally to deliver the desired business outcomes.
Throughout this phase, identify and secure quick wins. “Quick wins not only show how the OCIO can contribute to business outcomes, but also generate support and buy-in,” said Weldon. “For example, assuming a stronger role in facilitating governance, taking on a task from the CIO’s personal agenda, or preparing a monthly status report that gives the CIO and other IT leaders clear insight into the IT organisation’s opportunities and problems.”
Gartner analysts will discuss CIOs’ priorities in the digital era at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016, September 26-28 in Cape Town, South Africa. Follow news and updates from the event on Twitter using #GartnerSYM.
Why Alibaba Cloud is doubling down in Southeast Asia
Alibaba has announced expansion of its cloud business within Southeast Asia, with the introduction of a digital upskilling programme for locals alongside acceleration of its data centre openings.
This doubling down of its cloud business in Southeast Asia comes as the company faces stiff competition at home in China from rivals including Pinduoduo Inc and Tencent and seeks to up its game in a region considered to be the fastest-growing in cloud adoption to compete with leading global cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and second biggest revenue driver after its core e-commerce business, finally turned profitable for the first time in the December 2020 following 11 years of operation, thanks largely to the pandemic which has spurred businesses and consumers to get online.
Southeast Asia growing demand for cloud
In 2020, there was a noticeable increase in interest towards cloud in SE Asia, with the population embracing digital transformation during the pandemic and SMEs across the region showing increased demand for cloud computing.
Such demand has led to the expectation that Southeast Asia is now the fastest-growing adopter of cloud computing with the cloud market expected to reach US$40.32bn in Southeast Asia by 2025 according to IDC.
And there are plenty of players vying for a slice of the cloud pie. While AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, is the leading player in Southeast Asia (and across all of APAC apart from China), Microsoft and Google are the next two most dominant players in Southeast Asia with Alibaba coming in fourth.
“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies. Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”
Alibaba’s commitment to Southeast Asia
At its annual Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese company announced Project AsiaForward, an initiative designed to upskill local developers, small-to-medium-sized companies and connect businesses with venture capital. Alibaba said it would set aside US$1bn over the next three years to develop digital skills in the region, with the aim of helping to develop 100,000 developers and to help grow 100,000 tech startups.
But that’s not all. The company, which recently opened its third data centre in Indonesia, serving customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services, also announced it would unveil its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, that it would establish its first international innovation centre, located in Malaysia, offering a one-stop shop platform for Malaysian SMEs, startups and developers to innovate in emerging technologies.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” says Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
What other cloud providers are pledging in the region
This pledge by Alibaba to upskill both individuals and businesses follows Microsoft’s announcement in April that it was planning to upskill Malaysia’s population and would invest US$1bn over the next five years to build a new data centre centre in Malaysia.
This is the latest in a long line of pledges to the region by the US tech giant, which is fast accelerating the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding form seven 11 markets, and recently adding three new markets across Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. Back in February, it announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in Indonesia and to skill an additional 3 million Indonesians to achieve its goal of empowering over 24 million Indonesians by the end of 2021.
And recent research by IDC shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan alone are set to generate more than US$21bn in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.
Also last month, Tencent announced it has launched internet data centres in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo to add to its second availability zone opened in Korea last year and plans to add an internet data center in Indonesia, and Google has also been pushing into the enterprise space in Southeast Asia for several years now.
Expanding data centers allows cloud providers to boost their capacity in certain countries or regions.