Singapore CIOs weigh in on digital transformation

Earlier this week, all members of Computer Weekly’s APAC CIO advisory panel gathered for the first time to share their thoughts on digital transformation and what the overused term means to them.

Kicking off the lively discussion, which was held at SAP’s office in Singapore, was MyRepublic CIO Eugene Yeo who remarked that digital transformation isn’t just about adopting new technology.

Just as important is the need for employees to embrace a mindset of change and this is already being demonstrated in how MyRepublic develops new applications with a DevOps mentality where changes are expected and not frowned upon.

Manik Narayan Saha, the CIO of SAP Asia-Pacific, and Kwong Yuk Wah, CIO of NTUC, were of the same view that digital transformation isn’t a new undertaking. In fact, digital transformation started at the dawn of computerisation in the 1960s when enterprises started using computers to run some parts of their operations.

The CIOs then went on to share more about how they managed an inter-generational workforce amid their digital transformation efforts, how they have been measuring the success of digital initiatives, and perhaps more importantly, their change management strategy.

In particular, Nigel Lim, a Singapore-based senior IT manager at a Japanese company, called for the need for corporate functions such as HR and finance to be better aligned with digital transformation efforts, which isn’t always the case.

Amid the rapid pace of change, these functions would need to relook the way they assess the financial returns of digital projects, fund new digital initiatives and hire talent who are increasingly drawn to more attractive job prospects in high-growth, emerging markets such as China.

We will be filing some stories on some of these discussions – including what the CIOs thought about bi-modal IT – but one thing is clear in the meantime: digital transformation, which may seem like a buzzword at times to some of us, is real and will only accelerate in the years ahead.

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