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Listen. Be Humble One of Asia’s top information executives talks about the career path that led him from multiple jobs in Finance to a long-term commitment in technology. Pg 17


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COnTenTs

J U L Y – A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

TrendS

20 Banking on Simplification and Risk Reduction Bank of America’s top information executive on challenges facing the financial industry, what her organisation has to do to stay relevant to the business, and how having a background in marketing helps her do her job today. By John Gallant

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EditoR’S notE

TrendS 4

Singapore Government to invest US$95.3M in iCt Primary objective is to improve service delivery to citizens and businesses. By Nurdianah Md Nur

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Singapore’s online news sites now require licence They will also be required to put up a ‘performance bond’ of US$39,400. By Nurdianah Md Nur

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Global mobile payments to hit US$235B this year: Gartner AP’s transaction value bolstered by growth in Singapore, India and S. Korea. By Caroline Ng

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asian businesses embrace mobility to remain competitive Most mobile strategies focus on reengineering internal work flows and processes, according to IDC. By Nurdianah Md Nur

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the secret behind Mahindra Satyam’s surging performance An update report on the once beleaguered, but now buoyant, IT services company. By Zafar Anjum

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Small retailers under siege by PoS malware Vulnerable systems are identifiable by cyber criminals remotely through the Internet, said security vendor Sophos. By Caroline Ng

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dell unveils Chengdu operations site Facility is expected to reach the capacity of seven million units a year. By Anuradha Shukla

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Pacnet deploys Bangalore Cdn PoP The new setup complements the company’s existing CDN PoP in Mumbai. By Zafar Anjum

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Singapore: it and Banking in demand IBM, Microsoft, Accenture and Oracle top the list of favourite companies to work for in Singapore, according to LinkedIn. By Caroline Ng

July–August 2013

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COnTenTs J U L Y - A U G U S T

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Blue Coat: technologyempowered users improve business outcomes Yet, most companies in Singapore are still hesitant about letting their employees choose the technologies they want to use, according to the vendor. By Nurdianah Md Nur

opinion 10

CIO rOLe | Great Cios are Politically astute Executing a business strategy requires a personal touch. By Jack Bergstrand

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BUsIness | Managing the Risk of Status Quo In today’s ever-changing tech markets, one of the greatest risks a CIO faces is not moving fast enough. By Adam Hartung

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HIrInG | Why diversity Matters Building a network of diverse IT talent–ready for your next job opening–is a year-round task with a big payoff. By Phil Schneidermeyer

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sPeCIAL dIsPATCH | THe CIO WOrKsHOP 14

Be Flexible and adapt to Change The 26th edition of the CIO Workshop saw the presenters giving examples of how IT leaders can venture into new frontiers. By Jack Loo

17 THe InTerVIeW | WILLIAM rOss 17

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Listen, Be humble, Start Small, don’t Fear Failure A senior information executive shares essential lessons he’s learnt in his 23-year career. By F.Y. Teng

IBM TeCH eXPO 2013 24 Smarter Computing: designed for Big data

seCUrITY

26 BYod disasters And how to avoid them. By Colin Neagle


edITOr’s note

THE REAL DEAL

july–auguST 2013 ediTorial ediTor Teng Fang Yih arT direCTor Benedict Koh aSia oNliNe ediTor Zafar Hasan Anjum rePorTerS Nurdianah Mohd Nur, Caroline Ng

A

S WE ENTER the third quarter of 2013, I should remind you of some very important items on our calendar during this period. The first is the single most important event series of the year: the CIO Summit 2013, which will run in Singapore (July 31-August 1), Hong Kong (August 27) and Kuala Lumpur (September 19). This CIO Summit is the real deal. It’s not your garden variety loose gathering of vendors and practitioners scratching the surface of sticky issues in enterprise technology. The agenda for this year’s CIO Summit, as with that for last year’s event, was put together with the aid of some of the region’s most progressive senior information executives, and as such means that this event series–more than any other out there–sets out from the very first step to serve the needs of the CIO community. Now this agenda for the event for CIOs by CIOs is replete with content that speaks directly of the technology and business management issues facing just about every practising senior information executive in Asia. At every leg of the event, our partners from IDC Asia/Pacific will be setting the stage with a broad discussion of major trends in technology deployment across the world in general, and Asia in particular. This will be followed each time–in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur–by expert speakers from both the CIO and technology vendor communities who are currently living through the maelstrom of sweeping changes in enterprise IT departments everywhere. Technologies/paradigms/issues du jour appear to be: mobility, Big Data, analytics, social media, and the ever, ever-perennial ‘relevance of IT to the business’ and the role of the CIO in the 21st Century.

Discussions during the plenary and breakout sessions will revolve around these and component topics throughout the day. Another big highlight is this: the CIO Summit 2013 show in Singapore will conclude with the announcement of this year’s winners of the IT Excellence Awards (ITX), an annual programme that seeks to reward the region’s most efficient and forward-looking senior information executives and their teams. The 2013 edition of the ITX promises to be the most hotly contested awards fight to date. So compelling were the initiatives put forward by this year’s nominees, that we were forced to put out the longest shortlist we have ever done. I shan’t dwell on them for now because I cannot. For at press time the judges are evaluating the final round of nominees, and deciding on the winners of the ITX 2013 for the categories: Change Management, IT Governance, Security Strategy, Business Enabler, Knowledge Management, Bottom Line IT, and Emerging Technology. On that note, I say to you that I expect to see you at the CIO Summit 2013. Peace.

conTribuTorS Jack Bergstrand, John Gallant, Adam Hartung, Colin Neagle, Phil Schneidermeyer, Anuradha Shukla adverTiSing SaleS direCTor Glen Myles Tel +65 6395 8018 email: gmyles@fairfaxbm.com regioNal aCCouNT direCTor Ng Yi-Lin Tel: +65 6395 8045 email: ylng@fairfaxbm.com regioNal aCCouNT direCTor Francesca Lee Tel: +65 6395 8041 email: flee@fairfaxbm.com SeNior aCCouNT MaNager Catherine Loh Tel: +603 7804 3692 email: cloh@fairfaxbm.com SubScripTionS/producTion CirCulaTioN & ProduCTioN SPeCialiST Josephine Goh Tel: +65 6395 8060 e-mail: subs-asia@fairfaxbm.com fairfax buSineSS media aSia aSia regioNal MaNager Mark Hobson fiNaNCe MaNager Allan Chee oPeraTioNS MaNager Alison Lim hoW To conTacT uS We welcome your letters, questions, comments, complaints and compliments. all should be addressed to: Teng fang yih Tel: +65 6395 8028 email: fyteng@fairfaxbm.com address: 152 Beach road, #11-06/08 gateway east, Singapore 189721 MIS Asia is published by fairfax Business Media Pte ltd abouT fairfax buSineSS media information with integrity fairfax Business Media (fBM) is the business information and publishing arm of fairfax Media, australia’s oldest and biggest publisher of quality newspapers and magazines. The company’s products are icons in their markets, and include The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review, BRW and MIS tech. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written express consent of the publishers. Printed by khl Printing Co Pte ltd rCB No: 199605247d

Teng Fang Yih, Editor fyteng@fairfaxbm.com

July–August 2013

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Trends

Singapore Government to invest US$953M in ICT Primary objective is to improve service delivery to citizens and businesses. By Nurdianah

Md Nur

The Singapore Government has

revealed its plans of investing S$1.2 billion (US$953 million) in FY2013 on infocomm technologies (ICT) to improve the public sector’s service delivery to citizens and businesses. At the annual Industry Briefing on Business Opportunity for Infocomm in the Public Sector (held in late May), James Kang, assistant chief executive of Government Chief Information Office of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), said the government will call for tenders for key areas of technology. These include agile software development, government cloud solutions, infocomm security, and data and analytics. The government will call for a bulk tender on agile software development to provide government agencies with a range of suppliers with agile expertise, resources and tools. This enables a shorter turnaround time for the development of applications and solutions. As citizen-centric solutions, especially government e-service, are expected to deliver their services quickly and engage well with users, User Experience Design will be focused on

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during development. S i n c e the Gov ernm ent C loud (G-Cloud) Infrastructure-as-a-Service is now established, the Government will call for software-as-a-service (SaaS) tenders to allow agencies to tap on software offered on the cloud, says Kang. The government thus gains from the agility, scalability and utility pricing model of such software. To mitigate risk and detect threats early, infocomm security will be strengthened. A bulk tender to centralise the provision of data encryption products and services will be called, while a bulk tender to enhance the Cyber-Watch Centre is currently available for participation.

Other Key Areas The government will continue encouraging businesses to use analytics to help improve the latter’s operations, planning and policy formulation. To do so, a Callfor-Collaboration on Social Analytics for Business Enterprise is currently underway for businesses to develop and deploy social analytics services together with infocomm enterprises and analytics solution providers. To promote the use of government data in developing applications, the Government launched Apps4SG competition last month. Citizens and businesses are challenged to develop applications that help improve the way we live, work and interact in Singapore.

Singapore’s online news sites now require licence They will also be required to put up a ‘performance bond’ of US$39,400. By Nurdianah

Md Nur

Starting June 1, 10 websites that

regularly report on Singapore news were required to be individually licensed. “This move puts them on the same regulatory framework with traditional news platforms which are already individually licensed,” Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA) said in a statement on the day of the announcement in late May. These websites include Yahoo! Singapore, seven of publishing house Singapore Press Holdings’ websites and two of broadcaster Mediacorp’s websites. This new licensing framework requires online news sites to be individually licensed if they have more than 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a period of two months, and if they report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs over the same period. Under the new rules, licensed sites are expected to remove content found to be in breach of standards within 24 hours with any directives from the MDA. Prohibited content include those that undermine racial or religious harmony. These sites will also be required to put up a performance bond of S$50,000 (US$39,400).

Image: Fairfax Digital Library


AP’s transaction value, bolstered by growth in Singapore, India and S. Korea, will rise to US$74B. By Caroline

Ng

Global mobile payment transactions

will surpass US$235.4 billion this year, up 44 percent from US$163.1 billion last year, according to research firm, Gartner. Asia Pacific’s transaction value will hit US$74 billion, up 38 percent this year, supported by the growth in South Korea, Singapore and India. This continued growth will enable Asia Pacific to lead other regions, achieving a transaction value of US$165 billion by 2016. Following closely next is Africa where transaction value is forecast to reach US$160 billion in 2016. In North America, transaction value is forecast to grow 53 percent this year, reaching US$37 billion while Western Europe is expected to grow 52 percent, reaching US$29 billion. Despite the optimistic findings, Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said the forecast of the total mobile transaction volume has been pruned due to subdued growth last year, especially in North America and Africa. “We expect global

Global mobile payments to hit

US$235B this year: Gartner mobile transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017,” she said.

Money transfers preside over NFC Money transfers will occupy the lion’s

share of total transaction value this year, accounting for about 71 percent while merchandise purchases will account for 21 percent. The popularity of money transfer is due to the frequent lower value transactions made by users in a range of services prevalent in the market. In addition, money transfer typically has a lower transaction cost than traditional bank services. With this, Gartner is expecting money transfer to account for almost 69 percent of the total value in 2017. However, consumers are spending less through mobile devices than online e-commerce service and at retail outlets. Gartner has found that the enhancement of the buying experience on mobile devices will benefit merchandisers to tap into the untapped potential of mobile shopping. Gartner has also found a disappointing adoption of transactions using Near Field Communication (NFC) – the wireless technology behind mobile payment – across all markets last year as it will only account for about two percent of total transaction value this year and five percent in 2017. Nevertheless, NFC adoption is expected to pick up from 2016 with increase penetration of NFC mobile phones and contactless readers, giving hope to services like Google Wallet and Isis, which are currently struggling to gain traction.

Asian Businesses Embrace Mobility to Remain Competitive Most mobile strategies focus on reengineering internal work flows and processes, according to IDC. By Nurdianah

Md Nur

Asian business leaders will be investing more in enterprise mobility technologies in the next 12 months to ensure that their organisations remain competitive, according to a recent IDC C-Suite Barometer survey. Based on IDC’s June 2013 enterprise mobility study, most regional organisations will be focusing their mobile strategy

Illustration: Fairfax Digital Library

on reengineering of internal work flows and processes (58 percent) for the next one to two years. Forty-three percent of those surveyed will focus on standardising the list of platforms and devices to be used internally, while 38 percent will invest more in application lifestyle management. “It is encouraging to see Asian organisations reengineering their internal business processes and work flows to take advantage of mobility. This is necessary if businesses are going to realise the full value of their huge investments in mobility,” said Adrian Dominic Ho, principal analyst for Mobility Lead at IDC. Organisations looking to implement

mobility strategies should be prepared for challenges that come along with it. The respondents from IDC June 2013 enterprise mobility survey named the following top five challenges that their organisations faced during implementation of their mobility survey. 1. Security and compliance issues— 79.1 percent 2. Constant change in scope and ambitions—52.5 percent 3. IT infrastructure was not in place— 50.7 percent 4. Integration of mobile applications—46.3 percent 5. Cost overrun/too expensive— 44.8 percent.

July–August 2013

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Rohit Gandhi, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pac, India & MEA, Mahindra Satyam

The secret behind Mahindra Satyam’s surging performance An update report on the once beleaguered, but now buoyant, IT services company. By Zafar

Anjum

In May, Indian IT services company Mahindra Satyam announced its fourth quarter results. They showed that the company had made significant progress in China in terms of increasing headcount and adding engineering clients and had also acquired a large SAP consulting provider in Brazil called Complex IT and inked a partnership deal with TechMatrix for ASEAN region. “The turnaround of Mahindra Satyam is symbolically and practically complete. The merger which is at its penultimate phase will embark a new chapter for Mahindra Satyam. We sincerely thank all stake holders for supporting us during this crucial phase,” said Vineet Nayyar, Chairman, Mahindra Satyam when the results were announced. So what has made Mahindra Satyam so buoyant? We asked Rohit Gandhi, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pac, India & MEA,

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Mahindra Satyam, what the secret behind the surge was. Here are his answers. The recently announced results (quarterly and annual) for Mahindra Satyam have been spectacular. Did you expect this? Our fourth quarter profit grew 468 percent sequentially from the third quarter and the company has declared a dividend of 30 percent. Despite the challenging environment the integration efforts between Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra have clearly worked. I would say that clients are increasingly confident about offering us biggerticket deals. This is evidenced in a large and significant contract for end-to-end ownership and business transformation for IT Applications and Infrastructure for an Asian Paper & Packaging giant. It is substantial and value-added as it covers both Engineering and Sourcing support. We are also gaining traction in the Middle East, where we were awarded a CRM billing and implementation and support by a leading utilities company and a number of Infrastructure Managed Services contracts, and there were sizeable wins in Singapore with a government agency. Despite slower economic growth in many regions, more companies are seeing

the need to transform their organisations through IT. How much did Asia Pacific contribute to the results? Has the rest of the world (RoW) overtaken Europe in terms of global revenue contribution? The RoW region recorded 24.5 percent of global revenue. In Singapore, we have won a large multi-year deal from a leading government agency. We have also forayed into the corporate sector particularly in the Banking and Financial Services (BFSI) and Logistics services in the region. RoW has always been important to us as a market given that these are growth economies. However, US & Europe continue to be big markets. How did the company perform in China? Are you going to increase headcount in China? By what percentage? China revenues grew substantially during the last financial year, we have significantly secured 10 new clients, particularly in engineering solutions. Increasingly, large Chinese manufacturers including auto companies are seeing the need to turn to IT solutions to drive cost efficiency and time to market. We have made substantial progress towards our goal in tripling headcount by 2015. How did the company perform in Japan? We have sealed a partnership agreement with TechMatrix for cloud-based healthcare solutions and we are seeing much stronger requests for proposals. This is likely due to the combined effects of the tsunami/nuclear leak and the competition from Korea and other countries which are accelerating the need for business transformation. We are hopeful that these will lead to business deals in the near future. Any other developments in the region that you want to highlight? The merger is now in the final stage for legal approval which will likely to happen in September of this year. With the clarity Mission 2015 roadmap, we are confident that this will make the merger a success. We have closed a number of large deals in Australia, Singapore, India and Middle East, which also includes deals with annuity business. We also saw a lot of traction and revenues coming from Infrastructure services in Australia, India and Middle East. This year, we expanded our footprint in the mining sector in Australia.


Small retailers under siege by POS malware Vulnerable systems are identifiable by cyber criminals remotely through the Internet, said security vendor Sophos. By Caroline

Ng

The retail sector’s point-of-sale

(POS) systems have been under attack by an upward trend of malware in the last six months, according to security company Sophos. Small retailers with poor security measures are most prone to cyber attacks as large numbers of smaller targets were preyed for little cash with lesser risk. Sumit Bansal, director of Sophos ASEAN, said vulnerable POS systems are identifiable by cyber criminals remotely through the Internet to harvest informa-

Trends

tion, including credit card details. “Cyber criminals are after organisations with less investment in defensive counter measures,” he said.

vised malware strains that are available for sale online, further exploiting the POS vulnerability.

POS vulnerability

It is not all gloom and doom for data breaches in payment systems. Reports have found that worldwide data breaches share a common trait of not having a chipand-pin system in place. The chip-and-pin system protects against indiscriminate data-harvesting conducted by the likes of ‘Alina’, ‘Vskimmer’ and ‘Dexter.’ According to Sophos, the universal implementation of up-to-date chip-andpin system will eradicate the cabal of scammers and reduce crime at the tills. Sophos advises businesses to ensure that services with remote access have secure passwords as default passwords are easily cracked.

The main objective of POS-targeting families is to harvest data and ultimately converting them into cash, according to Internet security research firm, Team Cymru. The Internet security company also published in-depth studies on various major malware strains. The studies revealed the complex web of symbiotic relationships between several seemingly different malware strains. This suggests a sophisticated ecosystem for the incubation of ideas and resources in the cyber underworld. The resulting effect is a prevalence of diligently impro-

Mitigation: Chip-and-pin

Dell Unveils Chengdu Operations Site Facility is expected to reach the capacity of seven million units a year. By Anuradha

Shukla

Dell announced in early June the opening of its Chengdu operations site, which is expected to attract worldwide suppliers to this area. Opening of this operations site will also help local suppliers to expand their services internationally. Dell has had a successful run in China during the past 15 years and this new site is set to be very valuable and productive for both China’s domestic market and markets in Europe and the U.S. Dell’s Chengdu operations site is located in the West District of the Chengdu High-Tech Zone and is expected to reach the capacity of seven million units in a year. Located in sprawling 30,000 sq m, this site will hire several thousand team members who will use Dell’s global

Image: Fairfax Digital Library

resources to produce desktops. “The Dell Chengdu Operations Site is a milestone in Dell’s ‘Go West’ strategy and underscores our deep commitment to the China market,” said AmitMidha, President of Dell APJ. “We remain committed to our customers here by providing them with the highest-quality products, solutions and services.”

Importance of China Dell is committed to having a long run in China and realises the nation’s importance in its overall global strategy. The company’s new site at Chengdu has fully deployed Dell’s new IT solutions within the factory and is expected to encourage more manufacturers to set up industries in the region. Proliferation of more industries looks feasible as, according to Dell, the annual output in manufacturing of laptops, tablets PC’s and desktops in Chengdu exceeded 100 billion yuan in value at the end of 2012. Going green is what Dell believes in

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO

and it sources more than half of its packaging from sustainable materials. Its Chengdu site will use sustainable materials like bamboo as the cushioning for Dell’s products and in near future, the company intends to use wheat straw in many of its cardboard boxes for notebooks originating in China. “Our commitment to China has never been stronger, and this ongoing investment further demonstrates the importance of China to Dell’s strategy and future,” said Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the government and private sector to help achieve China’s goals for productivity, efficiency and sustainable growth.”

July–August 2013

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The new setup complements the company’s existing CDN PoP in Mumbai. By Zafar

Anjum

Pacnet has completed the deploy-

ment of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) Point of Presence (PoP) in Bangalore, the networking company announced on May 29, 2013. Pacnet is a leading provider of integrated and full-service network and data solutions to the Enterprise, and Carrier customer segments in the Asia Pacific region. The new PoP complements its existing CDN PoP in Mumbai, which was deployed in 2012. By deploying more CDN PoPs across Asia Pacific, Pacnet is able to store and deliver digital content at CDN PoPs in local markets. The company deployed

Pacnet deploys Bangalore CDN PoP two new PoPs in China early this year to increase the performance and speed of digital content delivery in that country. “The addition of the CDN PoP in Bangalore is one more step we have taken to expand the reach of our CDN service, and accelerate Web content to users in the region’s two largest markets – India and China,” said Jim Fagan, president of Managed Services, Pacnet. “It also marks the successful installation of our 10 self-

owned and managed CDN PoPs throughout Asia Pacific.” Over the past several months, Pacnet has announced a new data centre build in Singapore, the opening of its facility in Chongqing, China, and an expansion of its Sydney, Australia facility. The company also announced an investment into its sub-sea fibre networks to build a 100Gbps network, and an expansion of its IP VPN licence in China.

Singapore: IT and Banking in Demand IBM, Microsoft, Accenture and Oracle top the list of favourite companies to work for in Singapore, according to LinkedIn. By Caroline

Ng

Technology firms have emerged as a hot favourite for professionals to work for in Singapore, followed closely by financial services, according to professional community site LinkedIn. Four home-grown companies have also made it to the list of the “Top 20 Most InDemand Employers” list released by LinkedIn on May 7, 2013. The largest Southeast Asian telco, SingTel, has topped the list of Singaporebased employers, ranking at 12th, followed by DBS Bank (13th), NCS Group (17th) and OCBC Bank (19th). The top three positions were dominated by IT companies, with IBM at

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the top spot, followed by Microsoft and Accenture. Financial services made up nearly half of the top 20 companies in the list. Within this group of eight banks, Standard Chartered Bank topped the list, followed by Citi, Barclays Investment Bank, Deutsche Bank and DBS Bank. Feon Ang, regional director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, said the results are a natural reflection of Singapore’s economy. “It’s not a big surprise that IT, Internet and financial services companies dominated the Top 20 list in Singapore as these are key industries here,” she said.

Perks of strong employer names Professionals in Singapore appear to prefer big companies as none of the companies on Singapore’s Top 20 list have less than 8,000 employees each. “As the competition for top-tier talent continues to intensify, the need for a compelling employer brand will become more pronounced as companies seek to

understand what levers they can wield in order to attract the right talent to fuel their businesses,” said Feon Ang, regional director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions,” said Ang. Besides attracting talents, LinkedIn has found that strong employer brands can halve a company’s cost per hire while reducing turnover rate by 28 percent as compared with weaker employer brands.

Methodology The list for Singapore was derived by analysing interactions between members, and the more than 1,000 companies on LinkedIn globally that had at least 30 Singapore-based employees who are LinkedIn members. This was then cross-referenced with thousands of survey responses, to pinpoint the activities that best indicate familiarity and interest in working for a company: connecting with employees, viewing employee profiles, visiting company and career pages, and following companies.

Image: Fairfax Digital Library


Trends

Blue Coat: Technology-empowered users improve business outcomes Yet, most companies in Singapore are still hesitant about letting their employees choose the technologies they want to use, according to the vendor.

By Nurdianah

Md Nur

Eighty-six percent of Singaporean

companies believe that their business growth is tied to them allowing their employees to choose which technologies available in the marketplace to use for work. The technologies include social media apps, office apps, cloud storage marketing auto apps and CRM software. This is part of the findings from business assurance technology provider Blue Coat Systems’ recent global survey of more than 1,900 business and IT leaders. It was written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and conducted by Vanson Bourne. It was also found that 24 percent of Singaporean companies have already seen increased profits by empowering employees to use their chosen new technologies. Despite understanding that providing employees with greater technology choice would drive greater profitability, efficiency and innovation, most companies are still hesitant to do so. Security was cited as the biggest obstacle, as agreed by 78 percent of the Singaporean companies surveyed.

Using security as a business enabler Companies might have once perceived security as a hindrance to adoption of new IT technologies but this is no longer so. Hugh Thompson, Chief Security Strategist and Senior Vice President of Blue Coat, said that more companies are viewing security as an enabler for them to

Image: Fairfax Digital Library

seize opportunities and use new technologies (or even consumer apps) safely, without getting in the way of business operations. Understanding that traditional security methods are rigid, therefore preventing companies from empowering employees to safely use technologies, apps or devices, Blue Coat has launched its Business Assurance Technology blueprint. Made up of five technology centres, the Business Assurance Technology enables companies to unlock the business potential by harnessing technology in a secure and safe way, said Thompson. The five centres are the:• Security and Policy Enforcement Center which delivers business continuity by protecting against threats and data loss. Companies can thus provide their employees with a safe Internet and network. • Mobility Empowerment Center which extends protection and policy to users regardless of location and device used, enabling companies to drive mobile business initiatives. • Trusted Application Center that enables companies to safely deploy and consume all types of applications. • Performance Center which aligns IT infrastructure with key business strategies to ensure network performance and optimise user experience across the extended enterprise. • Resolution Center which provides businesses with advanced threat protection by combining security intelligence and analytics with a large network effect

from 75 million global users. This allows companies to adjust security policies according to in-depth security analytics and quickly recover from a data breach. With the proliferation of apps today, companies must now use a new approach to categorise all applications to enforce policies and assure compliance. Blue Coat’s new Application Classification Service and Application Controller — which make up part of its Trusted Application Center — help companies to do so. Aside from classifying apps, these new products together provide profiles detailing the characteristics of apps to allow companies to assess the business value, threat and compliance risk and bandwidth impact of those apps. They also enforce policies to prevent access to apps that present a known threat or violate acceptable risk levels. To protect companies from advanced targeted attacks before, during and after an event, Blue Coat has introduced another two technologies — critical to the Resolution Center — from its recent acquisitions of Netronome Systems and Solera Networks, says Thompson. Together, these two technologies combine traditional malware blocking with analytics and a large network effect that can prevent attacks in real time. They also identify and resolve the root causes of targeted attacks for remediation and prevention of future attacks, as well as improve governance through realtime feedback into security processes and policies.

July–August 2013

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oPInIon

CIO

Great CIOs are Politically Astute

By jaCk

BergSTraNd

Executing a business strategy requires a personal touch.

E

very IT professional has been

taught how important it is to be objective. To that end, we have budgets, planning methods, scorecards and metrics that are supposed to be numerically based. and, as a result, we have no shortage of red lights, green lights and yellow lights to keep us focused. But to succeed in strategic business initiatives, we have to work with many people, and you may have noticed that we humans aren’t always 100 percent objective. and even if we were, our personal forms of objectivity are often in conflict. different stakeholders have different visions and goals, work on different time frames, have different backgrounds and have varying areas of expertise. (just think of the different points of view you see among the top executives of finance, hr, engineering and

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marketing departments.) yet for strategic initiatives to be successful, executives also need the subjective management skills to get key people on the same page, keep them on it, and make sure they’re headed in the same direction. Peter drucker, the father of modern management, pointed out that to get better organisational results, leaders should take a social-science-based approach. in other words, it requires social skills as well as objective metrics. This is the productive use of political savvy, which is a sincere effort to bring people together to turn strategy into results— not the backstabbing, self-aggrandising, double-crossing tactics that give corporate politics a bad name.

No Rope-Climbing Required

The social aspect of being strategically successful has little to do with the tactic that many executives use to deal with the problem, which is: “let’s have a teambuilding exercise!” yuck! Strong teams are critical, but a team-building event is

too often what managers do when they don’t know what to do. Making strategy work has very little to do with climbing ropes, having offsite sessions and taking Myers-Briggs tests. one of the biggest problems i see in cross-functional strategic initiatives is that managers mistakenly think that the holy grail is “alignment.” alignment is usually hogwash. it’s often code for “i’ll do what i want, you do what you want, and let’s keep one another informed via a predetermined set of worthless meetings.” harsh? i don’t think so. Several Cios have mentioned that they were trying to stop using the term “alignment” and replace it with “integration.” With alignment you can avoid working interdependently. With integration, you can’t. integration requires the tough choices that make strategic initiatives successful. great Cios are savvy–in a healthy and honest way–when it comes to corporate politics. They have a personal touch. They are perceptive about where key people are coming from. They see similarities and disconnects among the various stakeholders. They’re able to respectfully and effectively identify the trade-offs that any strategy requires, and communicate those trade-offs to people at any level of the corporate hierarchy. So, as a strategic Cio, don’t disregard objectivity, but put it in its proper context. you’ll need to continually know where your strategic stakeholders intend to go and why (which is subjective), what therefore needs to happen and when (which is objective), how to best deliver those priorities (which is objective), and who is motivated to do them with distinction (which is subjective). it’s often not easy, but it’s worth it. The truth is that political savvy is essential to making strategy work. Jack Bergstrand is founder and CEO of Brand Velocity, a consultancy that helps companies implement critical business initiatives.

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oPInIon

BUsIness

compelled to upgrade existing PCs or buy new ones? are you prepared for a wholesale transition to devices using operating systems like ioS or android? overcoming status quo risk offers your iT department the opportunity to be of even greater value to your business. rather than thinking about how you can improve what you have, free yourself of the status quo to think about what you could deliver. aggressively project the performance of tablets, smartphones, apps and cloud services to see just how capable, and cheap, iT services could be in five years. Then rethink how you could change the business by changing your iT. you’ll be able to engage your peers in an entirely different discussion about how iT adds value.

A Few What-If Scenarios

Managing the Risk of Status Quo By adaM

harTuNg

In today’s ever-changing tech markets, one of the greatest risks a CIO faces is not moving fast enough.

U

ptime, response time, mean time

between failures—the history of iT is full of metrics improved by reducing risk, making sure nothing interferes with operations and productivity. But times have changed. Today one of the greatest risks is maintaining the status quo—being wedded to dated (or nearly obsolete) iT solutions as competitors move to cheaper, faster and better platforms that are easier to use and produce happier customers and business partners. The best way to manage the risk of being stuck in the status quo is to do scenario planning. rather than planning toward a better future starting from what you have and what you know, start by taking your mind all the way out to 2018

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and asking “What could the world look like?” and then plan backward to today. forget about the status quo as you look through the windshield to see what likely lies ahead. Nobody wants to be caught behaving, or even looking, out of date. yet it’s easy to fall behind. look at how fast BlackBerrys lost market share. remember a decade ago when unix servers and workstations were common, only to be almost entirely replaced by Windows servers and faster PCs as Sun Microsystems and Silicon graphics faltered in just five years? Preparing for the possibility of radical change is better than finding yourself tied to a struggling vendor that lacks the solutions for your needs—and charges more than your Cfo will accept. for example, what if the market shift to tablets and smartphones continues unabated? What if in five years users don’t carry laptops at all? What happens to your iT shop if Microsoft Windows sales decelerate, as you and your peers no longer feel

What if you’re the first in your industry to replace all laptops with mobile devices? Which jobs would convert first? What sorts of tablets would you use? What oS would you adopt? how much could you improve productivity and lower cost? What if you’re the first in your industry to shut down all company servers, moving applications to outsourcers or the cloud? how fast can you move? how much could you lower your costs? What if you’re the first to eliminate your office land lines by having employees use their smartphones? how much would you save in line costs, switch services and voice mail? how would you handle central inquiries and phone directory services? Could you use this as a springboard for getting half your employees to use a home office half the time? how much would you save in office costs? What oS selections and applications would you need to support to enable this decentralised workplace? Most of these scenarios aren’t realistic for 2013 implementation. But how many are realistic for 2018? By examining whatif scenarios like these, you could leapfrog the competition and build a more efficient organisation that serves happier users and saves money. Adam Hartung is a consultant specialising in innovation, and the author of the book Create Marketplace Disruption.

IllustrAtIon: FAIrFAx DIgItAl lIbrAry


oPInIon

HIrInG

Why Diversity Matters By Phil

SChNeiderMeyer

Building a network of diverse IT talent–ready for your next job opening–is a year-round task with a big payoff.

M

argot Sharapova was, until

recently, the Cio of ge healthcare Medical diagnostics, a general electric division with more than 5,000 employees in 50 countries. her career path has taken some interesting turns: after graduating from dartmouth, she moved to Siberia to teach english (she speaks russian fluently). She joined ge Plastics in 1995 through an information Management leadership Program, and then moved into Cio roles at a succession of ge divisions. in an interview, Margot offers her philosophy on attracting great talent and building a diverse team. As a CIO, what has been your approach to diversity? SHARAPOVA: My approach has been to actively engage with internal and external groups that support diversity in professional development. you have to make the effort on a regular basis. it is no different than college recruiting—you can’t just show up once a year and expect to be taken seriously. When you have a job opening to fill, you should have already been visible and available as a speaker or mentor. Cios need to be recruiting every day. Is diversity broader than gender or ethnicity? yes—i also strive for diversity of thought. for example, here is the breakdown of my direct reports at ge: a Brit who lives in Norway, an indian based in the u.k., an indian woman based in india, an iT architect born and raised in New jersey, and an indian and ghanaian in New jersey. We had robust staff conversations. There is another element of diversity. Many of us who go into iT roles are control freaks. But to be successful in the future, given the pace of technology change, we

IllustrAtIon: FAIrFAx DIgItAl lIbrAry

need to embrace a degree of chaos or lack of control. So as a Cio, you must be comfortable hiring people who don’t think like you do— people who have a different heritage and cultural norms. Be aware that it can take time for a diverse group to learn how to work together. on some level, working with carbon copies of yourself is easier, but it is dangerous, given the global challenges we all face.

tomorrow’s problems. Three, at a big corporation we have contracts with recruiters who are supposed to present a diverse slate of job candidates, but unless you drive it, you won’t get it. you can’t just rely on a recruiter and tell the executive team, “Well, the recruiter didn’t give me anyone diverse.” That’s why developing a network 365 days a year matters. This way, when you have an opening, you already have contacts.

Why is having a diverse team important? one, i want the diversity in my organisation to match the diversity of our customers so that we can relate to customers in all divisions all over the world. our organisation must be a reflection of the people we serve. Two, these are complex problems we are trying to solve for our customers. economies in developing markets change rapidly, whereas mature markets move to a different rhythm. if we don’t have diversity of thought, we won’t be able to solve

Is it easier for a diverse leader to attract a diverse team? Strong leaders attract strong talent, period. if you become known for strong talentmanagement skills, then talented folks of all backgrounds will want to join your team. They in turn pull in other great talent. The same occurs on the diversity side; it is the gift that keeps giving. Phil Schneidermeyer is a partner with Heidrick & Struggles, where he specialises in recruiting CIOs and CTOs for all industries.

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sPeCIAl DIsPAtCH | THe CIO WOrKsHOP the 26th edition of CIo Workshop saw the presenters giving examples of how It leaders can venture into new frontiers. BY JACK LOO

T

he common thread running t h rou g h t h is y e a r ’ s C IO Workshop, held from May 28 to June 1 in Singapore and Seoul, is the need for IT leaders to be flexible and adapt to consumer technologies. “This year’s CIO Workshop seeks to explore and unravel how consumer technologies are powering world economies and how convergence of the digital, social and mobile spheres are creating opportunities for organisations to innovate and lead in ways that are unprecedented,” said Mark Tham, Managing Director, Health & Public Service, Accenture. Jointly organised by the Singapore IT Management Association (ITMA) and Accenture, the CIO Workshop is an annual conference that aims to serve as a platform for Singapore’s IT leaders to discuss the challenges facing the technology community. Tham is also the chairman of the board of advisors who crafted the direction and theme of the Workshop. And the thriving Asian economy gives technology leaders in the region the opportunity to excel, according to Graeme Maxton, Fellow of the International Centre of the independent global nonprofit Club of Rome in his keynote address. In Asia, India’s economy grew three times within a space of 13 years, while Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia grew at least twice their size over the same period. And China, in 1990, contributed to only less than two percent of the global economy, and by 2013, it is powering 13 percent, said Maxton. So what are the technology opportunities in the region? The need for improved infrastructure like transportation and healthcare are areas with potential, said Maxton.

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Be FLeXIBLe AnD AdAPT TO CHAnGe There is also rising local competition where domestic companies are taking on their western counterparts. “We are already seeing the likes of Huawei doing so,” said Maxton. While technology hardware is commonly manufactured in Asia, increasing demand for software could see regional developers at some point say “we need our own operating system,” he said.

new CIO In a growing economy there is intense competition among companies. CIOs will face a lot of expectations by CEOs, according to Magnus Bocker, CEO, Singapore Exchange. “It will never cease. You are expected to walk on water,” he said. In his presentation Future Role of the CIO, Bocker unveiled key points that he as a CEO expects from his CIO. The first is the ability to understand the business strategy of the organisation. The second is the set of solutions a CIO can provide to the enterprise. When a CIO does not understand the business, he or she cannot create the right solutions for the organisation, Bocker said.

The third is innovation. “People spend too little time thinking about innovation. You need to allow time for your people to do wrong, but at least, try,” said Bocker. And innovation leads to the fourth point: growth. New ideas lead to new products and markets, something that CEOs expect all the time, he said. Growth then leads to the fifth point: revenue. This is an all-important focus of the CEO, Bocker said. And when a CIO can achieve revenue generation, “it opens up doors that you cannot imagine possible,” he said. A panel discussion on the impact of technology on how businesses operate was the next item on the agenda of the CIO Workshop. Jonathan Krause, Executive Partner, Gartner Advisory (Singapore), was the moderator, and there were two panelists—Howie Lau, Vice President Corporate Development, Lenovo, and International Centre of the Club of Rome’s Maxton.

new Opportunities The opportunity to venture into new frontiers saw Singapore-based telco


SingTel expanding from its traditional voice and data business. In his presentation, Alfonso Villanueva, Chief Innovation Officer (Digital Life), SingTel, told the audience that his company ramped up a variety of ‘activities’ including acquiring mobile advertising specialist Amobee and social photo aggregator Pixable. There was also a shift in mindset in terms of the speed at which SingTel initiatives are launched. “We used to think in terms of years. If the project was urgent, it would take about nine months. Now, we are looking at weeks,” said Villanueva. NFC technology looks set to be a major component in contactless card operator EZ-Link’s vision of a cashless Singapore society, according to Nicholas Lee, CEO, EZ-Link. NFC technology is a disruptive model that can revolutionise the payments industry, he said. For instance, an NFC-payment platform can replace a more expensive point-of-sales system and its hardware. The operator had already started a NFC pilots with various telcos in Singapore and other technology vendors. It was never an easy journey and there were a few lessons learnt, revealed Lee. “One was that ‘standards’ does not mean interoperability,” he said. Numerous devices and readers had to be changed or rewired. And the response was to introduce vigorous qualifying processes to ensure interoperability before commencement of operations, he said.

CIO Workshop in seoul Consumer technologies can disrupt traditional forms of businesses, and one example is the e-retailer Amazon, which has transformed the retail industry, said Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology Officer at Accenture. He was the keynote speaker at the Seoul leg of the CIO Workshop. “Every business is now a digital business. Technology is changing the way we do things. It is obligatory for the CIO to work the enterprise to help change the business,” said Daugherty, who then quoted trends from the Accenture Technology Vision 2013 report. One such trend that he spoke on was Relationship at Scale. Businesses now have new ways to learn about consumers based on increas-

ingly digital interactions that include email, social media, Web pages, online chat, mobile apps, and tweets. “We are now moving away from transaction to interaction,” said Daugherty. With technology, instead of not having enough interaction, companies can better interact with their customers than before, he said. The key to success is the seamless integration of the various digital channels, he added. Daugherty also listed fashion label Burberry and Virgin Airlines as businesses that have successful multichannel approaches. “How pervasive is mobility today?” asked Jin Lee, Senior Managing Director, Accenture Mobility, in his presentation, ‘Mobility–Where Are We Headed?’ Lee listed his family’s use of mobile devices as an example on how ubiquitous mobility is in mature markets. “I have 13 connected devices, my wife has three and my son uses two. And he is 24 months old,” he said. And all 17 pieces are overwhelming his house’s Wi-Fi network that is running at speeds of 300 Mbps. “My son has a habit of watching YouTube on his Samsung Galaxy tablet but when he cannot get his videos, he pushes it away and pulls his LTE device. It is running 50 percent faster. He is a power user. He knows the difference between Wi-Fi and LTE. And he is 24 months old,” said Lee.

A defence stronghold While the Android OS has its security gaps, Samsung Electronics is taking steps to address the issue with its management and security system KNOX, said Jae Shin, Vice President, Enterprise Business Team, Mobile Communications Division, from the Korean tech giant. KNOX works by containerising corporate and personal data separately on the Android OS. The software runs in the BIOS (basic input output system) firmware of the Android OS with file system encryption, to protect against data leaks, viruses and malware. Samsung developers have written at least 700 APIs that can be used to help IT shops customise BYOD security policies in partnership with Mobile Device Management vendors such as Mobile Iron,

Mark Tham, managing Director, Health & Public service, Accenture

Juniper, AirWatch and Sybase. Continuing the conference’s strong focus on mobility was the presentation by Jung-Seong Han, Head Manager of New Trend & Business, Hana Bank. The bank saw the potential of mobile devices and has ventured into the mobility app space since 2009. “We saw that smartphone users are using their device as a problem solver. So the bank’s approach to mobile banking is to position ourselves and services where we can help them offer solutions,” said Han. The bank has at least five apps, including one that is built for medical tourism, taking advantage of South Korea’s advanced cosmetic surgery industry. The apps include a slew of features such as personal financial management services and location-based coupon offerings. The bank also added personalised touches, such as using social network services-based user interface and customer support avatars that are actually real customer service agents.

Future role Consumer technologies are transforming the role of the CIO. But how the IT leader can adapt was the main issue raised at the first panel discussion of the CIO Workshop in Seoul. One way is for the CIO to work closely with the CEO, said Matthew Johnston, Managing Director, South Asia, Dell. Johnston was responding to moderator Jayson Goh’s question on where the CIO could start in his or her transformation journey. Goh is Executive Director, Infocomms & Media/Planning & CIO,

July–August 2013

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sPeCIAl DIsPAtCH | THe CIO WOrKsHOP

some 8,000 stickers, said Hyun, and the numbers are constantly expanding. It is through these stickers that corporate brands can reach out to LINE subscribers. One such company is Thai Airways, which introduced themed-stickers and promotions to engage audiences. Another feature is a chat room that allows real-time messaging between the company and users. All these help improve brand popularity and loyalty, said Hyun.

Economic Development Board. Another approach for the CIO can be found in the vertical that the CIO’s company operates in, suggested Samsung Electronics’ Shin. The CIO has to start from the ground up, Shin said. “If the CIO is operating in retail, then start from the sales floor, and understand the various data points, including POS systems,” he added. The conference attendees were then treated to an overview of the nationwide initiatives run by the South Korea government’s National Information Society

site Visits

Paul Daugherty, Chief technology officer, Accenture:

“It is obligatory for the CIO to work the enterprise to help change the business.”

Agency. The statutory body is in charge of technology infrastructure development and promotion in the country. One programme is the Gigabit Internet Project that aims to improve the current 2 Mbps speed of the Nationwide Broadband Network to 1 Gbps speed levels. “By 2017, the Gigabit Internet Service will be available in 90 percent of Korean territory,” said Sun-Moo Kang, director, National Information Society Agency. The rural communities in South Korea are not forgotten either, with the Rural Broadband Project launched in 2010, Kang said. “The objective is to build broadband networks in small towns from rural areas to provide high speed Internet service, and provide applications specifically developed for rural residents,” he said. The applications he referred to include home security systems, agricultural training tools and CCTV platforms. Next up was the second panel discussion of the day, during which the question of how industry developments in areas

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such as Big Data and the Cloud will shift IT priorities was raised. The moderator was Yap Chee Yuen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, Genting Singapore.

The LIne on engagement SoLoMo (Social, Location, Mobility) is one of the latest e-commerce concepts to emerge in recent times, and messaging app LINE looks to help corporate brands reach out to their intended audience directly. “LINE is the world’s fastest growing service with 110 million registered users in 19 months since the initial launch,” said Hyun Bin Kang, Head of LINE Business Office, LINE Plus in his presentation. In comparison, Twitter and Facebook took 49 and 54 months, respectively, to reach 100 million users, he said. One key attraction of LINE to users is the deployment of stickers. Instead of just emoticons, LINE developers introduced the more colourful and emotional stickers that are revolve around four avatar-like characters. There are

Following the conference in Seoul, the CIO Workshop conference delegates spent a day (May 31) on site visits outside of the capital city. The first visit was to the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), South Korea’s largest government funded research agency. ETRI had been ranked as the top agency out of 237 institutions by US-based magazine Intellectual Property Today for this year on its Innovation Anchor Scorecard index. ETRI won the same accolade in 2012. The firm’s strengths are its research in the areas of telecommunication and software. The visitors were able to view several ETRI exhibits, including an LTE-Advanced mobile communication system, an IPTV-based remote medical service and an Ultra High Definition TV broadcasting technology. The next site visit was to the Samsung Digital City. In a guided tour, the delegates saw the formation of Samsung’s Telecommunication Network Business in 1977, the launch of first in-house developed handset SH-100 in 1988, the unveiling of the world’s first five mega-pixel camera phone in 2004, and the achievement of the leading smartphone maker in 2011. The final visit of the day was to Samsung Electronics’ d’light, a concept store of the maker’s electronic products with retail facilities. The delegates viewed the internal composition of Samsung smartphones and tablets, as well as a Home Energy Management System that enables households to track and control utilities usage across a variety of Samsung products in their homes.


tHe InterVIeW | WILLIAM rOss

LISTEN, Be HUMBLE, Start SMALL, Don’t Fear FAILURE A senior information executive shares essential lessons he’s learnt in his 23-year career. BY F.Y. TENG

KICKING this new series, we run the expurgated version of our interview with the Asia-Pacific Director of IT at Motorola Mobility, William Ross. (This interview is published in full on our portal.) Even before Ross graduated from Howard University (Washington DC, the US) 23 years ago with a degree in International Finance, he was already working with Federal Express, where he simultaneously ran functions in field operations and other parts of the business. Not long after that he signed up with another household name, Motorola, where his financial training was put to good use. He held multiple roles during his time in the Finance division at Motorola, and was called upon to run a great number of programmes involving the electronics giant’s many businesses across the world. Then, in 1996, he experienced his moment of “conversion” to a new way of looking at IT, the IT division and the role

FF

of the senior information executive at the enterprise. Read on. talk about your career path, the roles you’ve taken on to date, and what you have learned? WILLIAM ROSS It’s been wonderful winding mixture of experiences and rewards functionally, geographical, and culturally. At my first job with Federal Express, for over 7 years I was more in field operations and other business areas in the US. It has been 23 years now since I started my career with Motorola in Finance. I did everything from being an international analyst to different treasury functions, to controller. This exposure allowed for me to look at multiple functional disciplines,

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InterVIeW | WILLIAM rOss

process, and controls across the company enterprise. Then I moved into a role that was very exciting to me at the time, because it dealt more with leading cost management improvement efforts. That gave me direct experience for our core products but exposure to our international operations. As an outcome I obtained longer overseas work assignments and took some expat extended postings in Costa Rica, Ireland, and Taiwan. I was then sent to China, where I spent four years—this was back in 1996. China was a conversion process for me in many ways—from a work perspective I was in finance, but also did some large scale program management, and it was not long after I was asked to lead an IT Centre of Excellence organisation. From a personal perspective I also experienced the uniqueness of China as I saw a country emerging from rudimentary SOE’s (State Owned Enterprises) and migrant farmers to become one of the largest economies in the world. This was great to witness and also be a part of first-hand. This has formed an indelible imprint on me not only in conducting business but people and the environment in which they live. I continued forward in doing some Global IT Strategy work in the US and then I was invited back to Asia to establishing new business process engineering model for our global operations. This allowed me get a broad-scale understanding of different business functions around the world. The goal was just to provide innovation, mostly in our supply chain operation space. I led that effort, which required a lot of work in fostering constant communication and close cooperation between business leaders and stakeholders with IT leaders and stakeholders. Since then, it has been a whirlwind, managing different roles and different functions across internal and external operations, and being constantly engaged in different geographies. Out of that experience, I think the biggest thing for me has been the engagement of different cultures. While diversity of individuals is always transparent, there are more similarities in human values than ethnic differ-

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ences in people. We all fundamentally want respect, seek security, and joy, and all done with a sense of life balance. Once you understand this basic concept, you get a full sense on how to effectively engage people and achieve success in business and other life endeavours. Why the decision to actually move to asia? It was the work exposure opportunity that attracted me first. The opportunity turned out to be a life adventure, and then I appreciated the experience of human culture. I think that was also stimulated by my wife, who is an adventurer as well. The way we looked at it, it was very simple for us at that point in time. At that point we had lived in the US most of our lives, and having that opportunity to go somewhere totally different was something that we felt not only would be a growing experience for us, and but also character-building for our children to grow up as thirdculture kids. My daughter now speaks, reads and writes in fluent mandarin and is taking Chinese studies as one of her double majors at university in US. Where have you been across the globe? I believe I have touched all the continents except Antarctica. It while I hear it is beautiful, is just too cold there!!! In North America grew up in Connecticut. I went to university Washington, D.C. I spent seven years in Chicago, when I worked at Motorola’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. Then I went on assignments to New Mexico, did stints in Taiwan, Ireland, Costa Rica. After that came my four-year China posting, to Tianjin. Then I went back to Libertyville, Motorola for a strategy role. I spent eight months there before I moved back to Asia, this last time to Singapore which has allowed me to support and engage with our operations well around the world. In my time with the company, it hasn’t quite mattered where I’ve been based, I’ve continually spent a lot of time working across the globe. For example while living in Asia for 16 years, I’ve also spent a lot of time in Latin America, particularly Brazil

and Argentina, and in Europe. So, really, my experience in Motorola has given me a very good global perspective on how to engage the world in different functions. at school, your major was international Finance. did you also undergo any formal training in it? No. While took some basic programing courses in university it was not a minor full minor that. My training mostly came from work experiences. I started out as an international financial analyst. My second role was in financial systems, so I did all of the worldwide financial reporting, and had responsibility for financial systems. That gave me exposure globally, around the world, on our operations. So, working with solutions like Hyperion and Oracle is where I was able to get introduced into that space. And for some reason, it just captured my interest a great deal, and I kept digging and digging, fortunately getting more responsibilities and opportunities to explore. This has led for me to understand not only applications, but architecture, networks, development, testing, quality and all of the other disciplines in within IT. I have also have understood that my work in both Finance and IT been an easy spring board into working and effectively with other core competencies and functional areas. This is because by nature both areas easily span across the enterprise as multi-disciplinary support functions. This end to end exposure can give you significant advantage in understanding and providing the organization in both a strategic planning and tactical execution level. What did you learn based on your experience in China, would you say have contributed to how you deal with partners, customers and subordinates in this part of the world? The art of comprehensive listening. While we “hear”, I have learned we do not always “listen”. Comprehensive listening includes enhanced awareness of the verbal and non-verbal cues under the context of the environment and culture in which


you are engaged. You also need to practice the primacy of humility to effectively listen, even though you already believe you have the answer. By executing these two additional characteristics in your communication, you will find better results in confirming your IT strategic solution planning that will align more effectively with the voice of your customer (or partner) and will eliminate wasteful time and cost gaps downstream when you move from concept to execution. Be Agile for growth with value. Move fast, start small, stay focused, and stay flexible. Being agile in IT execution is great in getting things done, but I learned that “moving” fast is not good enough from a customer solution perspective. You also need to continuously be adaptively nimble to rapidly scale your efforts with excellent quality while hitting the value goal at the same time. Opportunities to for IT to impact “growth with value” in business today has incredibly shorter life cycles, therefore in IT you always need to be prepared to move fast but also to the correct scale “end” target as well. In this context, if from concept to reality which takes more than six months to actually implement most likely your effort will seeded in the wrong environment (as it changes) and will not grow effectively. The hidden value of failure. While we all seek to focus and measure success, we also need to understand there is also hidden value of failure experiences as well. As I noted before in moving fast you have to be accurate. I have learned is that in this type environment it is inevitable that you will have “points” of failure. The key here is not to make your points an emerging “system” of failure. It is okay to fail if you realistically understand in your original planning and execution the continuous risks in your opportunity. You also need to be finely attuned to rapidly embrace failure and change when it appears, and be rigorous to not repeat the same mistake ever again. In IT when failure becomes a

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transformational process to learning, it not only becomes mechanism for mitigation avoidance but an “opportunity benefit” (vs cost) to focus the time of your resources for more value added innovative creation. in your experience, which is more difficult to bridge: the communications gap between business and it or that between teams from different geographies and cultures? Whether you are dealing with situation where a either a functional/cultural divide, or a combination of both exist, “always remaining focused on solving the core problem that adds value” must always remain the primary rule of engagement when differences exist. Most parties generally agree that this universal truth always extends beyond any title, role, location, or non productive group think. To answer your question further, both situations stifle growth and innovation so neither are more difficult to bridge when determining what is important to solve. Two key threats to measure in this type of divide is when individuals only provide their myopic view solely based on their independent perspective, and the

practice of institutional legacy under the guise of “this is the way we have always have done it”. Both of these practices can lead to either more fragmentation and/ or complacency. In IT have never seen a problem get truly solved in either of these environments which therefore never adds real value to your organization when you allow for it to remain. Therefore, to bridge the complexity on how you handle both functional and geographical problems, you always need get the individual parties to understand they have the same collective principles. This means clearly exposing, defining, and understanding your current situation. Then filtering tangible “facts” versus general “opinions” and distinguishing between “corollary” issues and “primary” problems. Finally design a comprehensive solution in addressing the problem beyond the divide (functional or geographical). This means in the expected outcome your solution should not only directly address people the process and technology as we hail in IT solutions but impact, integration, leverage, and velocity. This is a value proposition our customers expect and all stakeholder (functional or geographical) should agree in bridging the divide.

July–August 2013

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CoVer story | BAnKInG

C

atherine Bessant’s journey to the CIO role at Bank of America wasn’t your standard ascent through the ranks of IT. Bessant, now Global Technology and Operations Executive, leads a team of more than 100,000 employees and contractors who handle all technology and operations for the giant financial institution. But prior to tackling IT, Bessant was President of Global Corporate Banking, Global Treasury Services and the Global Product Solutions groups. She’s also served as Chief Marketing Officer for the bank. In this interview (ref. below) Bessant talked about the advantages–and challenges–of being a non-technologist leading IT. She also discusses the lessons she’s learned from navigating Bank of America’s supersized acquisitions. In addition, the oft-honored Bessant

shared some details of her team’s bold plan to simplify dramatically the IT environment and its goal to reduce risk through design, aggressive training and more. A lover of Shakespeare, Bessant also explains what lessons the Bard holds for IT leaders everywhere. the last couple of years have been really tough for the banking industry, and i think people would be fascinated to know what, as Cio, was your role and strategy to help Bank of america through this challenging period? BessAnT: Through any challenging period like this it takes several fundamentals. It takes great data, so that companies working through challenges can make good decisions. I hate the term “big data” so I’m not going to use it. But in any time of challenge, it is the CIO’s job to

make sure that no stone is left unturned in terms of the quality of data and the comprehensiveness of data, and its usefulness in the firm. The second thing that is very important, from a platform perspective, is not to compound the challenges. The availability of our critical applications, the quality of how we face off in the marketplace, what happens when our customers and clients interact with the firm—it’s our job in IT to make sure that our platform performance inspires confidence versus adds to the challenge. The third thing that’s most fundamental is being good at rapid-cycle development—to meet changing regulatory requirements, to really be facile and to rapidly respond to new needs. Let’s drill down into that. What were some of the top priorities for your team?

Bank of america’s top information executive on challenges facing the financial industry, what her organisation has to do to stay relevant to the business, and how having a background in marketing helps her do her job today.

by JoHn gAllAnt

Banking on

Simplification

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Over the last three years, we’ve been focused on some fundamental things. First, we’ve been focused on making sure the capabilities we deliver every day line up to the growth strategies of our businesses. We’ve had a stated strategy of integrating our capabilities so that in every customer or client moment, we’ve got the opportunity to present the full company to the customer or client, and to develop and deliver a full range of solutions. We’ve been very focused on ensuring that our IT work is a true enabler of the business growth strategy, because in a time of challenge you still have to produce revenue and you still have to produce net income. Second, we’ve been very focused on simplifying the foundation of our IT and operating platforms, so reducing duplicative applications, ensuring that storage, compute time, every element of what it takes to actually produce an outcome, are as efficient and simple as possible. And those are two things in a challenged time that help produce bottom line [results], because they cut cost. But more importantly, it drives the other things that we’re talking about. If you have to do rapid-cycle development and you only have to change one platform versus three that do the same thing, you’re that much further ahead of the game. Simplification has been, almost like Ahab to the whale, a very intense focus, because it’s core to delivering platform performance and rapid-cycle development. And then, reduction of risk overall. There are a lot of IT functions that carry certain operational risk, and ensuring that we do not add to the risk profile, but rather reduce the risk profile of the firm, has been a huge part of the emphasis. You’ve been quoted as saying you are “freakishly focused on

“In reality, there is no such thing as a three-year view. It’s a 30-year view. And we have to make three-year decisions with a 30-year view.” —C. Bessant

simplification.” What does it really entail to simplify? What’s the advice you have for other it leaders on what it really means to simplify? What makes simplification talk actually turn into outcomes is that you have to be as focused on decommissioning as you are on creating new things. It is very tempting to create, and leave decommissioning to the next guy or the next girl or the next budget. The second thing is ensuring that the entire management team at the CEO and C-suite level understands that funding simplification, while it might not produce revenue directly, produces outcomes that do drive revenue, and so it’s worthy of investment. It has not come down to this in our firm, but on a simplistic basis, if it came down to funding the next iPhone banking app or the collapse of 22 collateral management systems into one, the management team have to be united that the focus for a period of time has to be collapsing the 22 collateral management

systems to one. It takes real unification across the management team. Now, you know from your research that we’ve done both. We’ve deployed a lot of mobile and other capabilities into the marketplace. But business leaders outside of the IT function have to be willing to stand up and say, simplification. If we don’t simplify, I actually can’t get to my long-term objectives. It takes that kind of unification. It takes a unique type of technologist, because, let’s stick with the example. To get from 22 collateral management systems to one may not appear to be a glamorous technological challenge. Another example: We just received some patents for a system that we’ve developed to manage intraday risk. There aren’t very many headlines in any publication that will ever be mentioned about a system to manage intraday exposures. But it takes the kind of technologist who really understands that that’s what directed innovation is all about.

and Risk Reduction July–August 2013

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It isn’t always about creating the next decoder ring. It is about making the firm function in a world-class way. I’ve been very fortunate, and we’ve done it deliberately, to recruit talent who understand that simplifying the foundation, believe it or not, is exciting. But it is not everyone’s cup of tea, and it really takes the right kind of technology leadership, too. Can you give a broader perspective of the overall strategy toward risk mitigation and reducing risk? The best answer to risk is brilliant design. When you have the opportunity for green field design, it’s important to make sure that it’s designed for risk mitigation; again, not always glamorous, but absolutely achievable and, in my view, very exciting. When you don’t have the opportunity for green field, so in other words you’ve got long-established systems, you must understand what you would do to design for risk reduction if you had a blank sheet of paper, understand the distance between where you are and where you want to get to, and then really have a plan with the right aggressiveness. Because sticking to those strategies over time is not for the faint of heart at all. It takes guts, it takes deep understanding of both the business and IT, and it takes a bull-doggedness to say ‘no, we’re not going to be distracted by the feature of the day’. We understand where we have to get to in order to reduce risk. We’re going to fund that concurrently with funding the development of new capabilities. I’ve been really fortunate because the things that you have heard me or seen me say publicly are also things our CEO says. So we’ve been very fortunate as a company to have a management team that’s united around these things. I don’t know what it would be like to be a CIO in a chain that was not convinced about the importance of simplification. i know you also do some pretty aggressive training and boot camps and things around that. Can you talk a little bit about how that works? Well, I like the concept of boot camp because it implies everything I actually

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mean for it to imply. It implies intensity. It implies focus. It implies coming in one way and leaving another way. And that’s really what we’ve been doing. Boot camp one was around reduction of risk and understanding of operational risks in both technology and operating capabilities. Boot camp two focused very much on process-by-process control plans, so that we know where our fundamental controls are–and I’m going to totally geek out on you now–where our compensating controls are. And then boot camp three will focus on some specific issues of the day, which would, of course, include things like business continuity and cybersecurity. We’ve performed extraordinarily well in times of business continuity tests, but we’ve certainly been tested by Hurricane Sandy, the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan, with the global footprint where we operate. So, boot camp three will be about managing specific risks of the day. one of the things that we know from our audiences is that dealing with acquisitions is very challenging. You have been through some really big acquisitions. What have you learned and what’s the advice for it people on how to manage that process and make it work as successfully as possible? Getting through transitions, making tough decisions and executing them, does not get better with time. So a key to success is using appropriate speed in decision making and execution. Any company like ours, which has gone through a number of acquisitions, a lot of what we’re simplifying is work left undecided or undone in various transitions over 25 years. The focus of every transition is making sure the companies that come together face off into the marketplace with customers and clients as a unified company. What can’t happen is that the back office be left to be figured out later or handled in a subsequent budget period, because that adds to complexity, that makes the challenge of future revenue and future profitability harder because there’s an embedded underinvestment in completing the transition.

The big learnings for me are: run through the fire, don’t walk through it, and make sure that the back office work does not get left undone, un-transitioned or unconsolidated. i have to go back to one point you made at the beginning. You said ‘i hate big data.’ that puts you in the minority these days, when everybody seems enamored of it. Why do you hate it? Well, I hate the term. I love good data. I hate the term actually because it implies something monumental out of something that should be fundamental, and should be basic, which is the creation of accurate, timely data on a reliable basis. And then the use of that data, by smart people in a company, who can turn it into market advantage. That’s what we do in business. Even when I was using a slide rule or, worse yet, when we were doing spreadsheets on corporate customers with Lotus Notes, what you’re still doing is producing data and using it to make decisions. So to call it big data and to think of it as something monumental or something that’s all going to be so ethereal we’ll have to look to the sky to see it, that isn’t what it is at all. It’s the most fundamental thing we do in business, which is drive decision making from fact. Makes sense. So you come from a non-tech background as a Cio. What are the advantages and disadvantages of coming up through a different part of the company? The advantage that it brings is I understand what the businesses are after. And we’ve done a good job of building a team that also understands what the businesses are after, and that tech doesn’t exist in isolation. In fact, tech’s only job is to support the business of the company, whether that business is customers and clients or that business is brilliant risk or capital management. So being able to understand, not the intersection, but the unique relationship between the supporting function tech has to play, and what the businesses that drive the company have to do, has given me a real advantage.


The other thing is–and our CEO would describe this as translation– being able to learn the discipline of technology and marry that with knowing the discipline of business, gives anyone who’s sitting in my seat an opportunity to translate in all directions differently. Prioritisation is really hard when a classically trained technologist describes a project one way and a business is looking for ‘what does it give me in market share or customer penetration, or how does it change my ability to compete’? It’s very hard to get a process of prioriti–sation or to figure out what work to take on or to have a long-term strategy. So that transition element is really important. The disadvantage is, day one, the classic technologists wonder what you’re doing in the chair. I have a way of describing it, which is--there are artists and there’s an art gallery, and what I have brought to our team is the ability to manage the art gallery, because it’s what I’ve done in the firm. I know about inventory and revenue and profitability and operating leverage and talent management and risk management and the other things we were talking about. Actually, those things are essential to the technologists that are producing great technological outcomes. But there is a day one skepticism, and it takes a sincere and real desire, on the part of someone sitting where I’ve been sitting, to actually learn. It takes humility, frankly, to learn and not to bluster through it, and that’s been very helpful. In fact, our Chief Risk Officer recently said to me, you’re going to have to give it to me in non-tech terms. And I thought that was a real mark of a moment, really, in a lot of ways. Yeah. it’s a crossing over. By the way, your background in marketing. that’s really one of the critical intersections in business today, the Cio, CMo role intersecting in order to drive business opportunity, understand customer needs better. So you’re in an ideal position with that. It has been such a help to me to have had that experience, even on the very rare

“The big learnings for me [from my experience with integration work due to mergers and acquisitions] are: run through the fire, don’t walk through it, and make sure that the back office work does not get left undone, un-transitioned orunconsolidated.” —C. Bessant occasions when we have a service disruption, to be able to work with our marketing and communications team with a knowledge of what they have to do to help protect the firm’s brand in that moment. That experience has really enabled me to be much better at my CIO role now. Let’s talk about the evolving role of the Cio. You’ve seen this from both working with Cios and being a Cio. how do you see the role evolving? how does it need to change? Increasingly there is no such thing as front, middle and back office. And oftentimes, and you’ve probably read something like this, what we’re selling, in some cases, is technology. We’re not selling a new service; it’s still the deposit taking or the processing of payments, but we’re selling a technologically advanced way to deliver that capability. There’s a real unification of customer capabilities in technology and driving market share and business outcomes, the role of the CIO has to change. The integration level with the business has to be high. Technology cannot be a black box. I was just in a conversation with someone about data center strategy and he has nothing to do with technology and operations, but actually has a lot to do with the consumption of data and the creation of data, and therefore the creation of the requirement to move it and store it and use it. And in order for us to be efficient, he has to understand as much as I do what causes the consumption of data, and I have to understand as much as he does in order to help him drive the resiliency requirements he has, the retrievable

requirements that he has. You just can’t separate the two anymore. The CIO also has to play a role in setting business strategy and setting firm-wide strategy, because if for no other reason than technology and operating expenses are, in most firms, a very big component of the expense base. And as we look at a world of thin margins in a lot of sectors, understanding the role of what we do strategically and how it can bend the cost curve of a firm, in our firm, is very important. So I think that the role is changing dramatically. it’s my understanding that you’re a bit of a Shakespeare buff. What has Mr. Will Shakespeare taught you about leadership and running the Cio function? Wow, okay, that’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question. The best paper I ever wrote on Shakespeare followed a trail of my view that the reason Shakespeare is an important author, is that his ideas are timeless and they use allegory to make a point that is in fact a timeless point. And oddly enough, I was just thinking about this when I told you we were really working on a more three to five-year forward view in the work that we’re doing. In reality, there is no such thing as a three-year view. It’s a 30-year view. And we have to make three-year decisions with a 30-year view. And really trying to figure out what those timeless characteristics are of a great technology or operating organi– sation, that’s what fires me up about my job. And building a system that is elastic enough and foundationally strong and nimble enough to last 30 years, that’s what it’s all about. Because a lot of the platforms that we use today were in existence 30 years ago, so it’s a fundamental fact that we’re making 30-year decisions. And that’s the whole point about Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s lessons, every one of them, are timeless lessons, and how to hold focus to making timeless decisions and designing platforms that are not subject to timed obsolescence, which I believe is possible actually. I think that’s what it’s all about.

July–August 2013

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Ibm TeCH eXPO 2013

Smarter Computing: Designed for Big Data More organisations

are looking at the use of data analytics today, harnessing it to glean actionable insights and improve their bottom lines. This was one of the messages conveyed at IBM’s Technology Conference & Expo 2013 in Singapore, which was held on June 11 at the Raffles City Convention Centre. The one-day event was opened by Cheah Saw Pheng, a director of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, and saw industry experts such as Dr. Gururaj Rao, vice president of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group and Arun Chandrasekaran, a Gartner research director, share on emerging technological trends and their impact on the region. That interest in big data is picking up is hardly surprising news; IDC has predicted that big data technology and services will reach USD16.9 billion by 2015. Cloud computing and its implications on security was another aspect that was frequently mentioned at the various presentations and discussions, which also saw Dr. Grayson Williams, a senior software analyst at the Agency of Science & Technology Research (ASTAR) and Wee Keat Kheng, Raymond, from the Institution of Technical Education (ITE), College East, taking to the stage. At a client panel session, they shared their experiences gained in the course of implementing the IT infrastructure for their respective organisations.

Big Data in action “Big data is probably where cloud was three years ago on the hype cycle,” said Chandrasekaran at a media interview session. While its potential is never in doubt, he cautioned that there was also a need to evaluate the use of business analytics on a case-by-case basis. “Not every customer has a big data problem,” he said, noting how certain businesses are able to benefit from a limited deployment.

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Ibm Client Panel Discussion, from left to right is: Mr. arun Chandrasekaran, gartner research Director; ian Chong, sales leader, Ibm PureFlex, systems & technology group, Ibm AseAn; Mr Wee Keat Kheng, Raymond, Infocomm services, Institute of technical education (Ite) – College east; dr Grayson Williams, senior software Analyst, Agency of science & technology research (AstAr)

A lot of questions pertaining to big data are still “very basic” at the moment, agreed Dr. Gururaj, and revolve around finding suitable use cases, evaluating proven implementations, and generally increasing understanding of the topic. Alluding to the promise that big data can deliver to businesses, he said, “Big data is a dream of wanting to do things we’ve never done before.” In Singapore, there is at least one a major bank that has implemented big data using IBM mainframes to detect credit card fraud, said Dr. Gururaj, who outlined various scenarios in how data analytics can be harnessed by businesses. Trends can be predicted based on social media impact, according to Dr. Gururaj, who highlighted how social conversations about the attire of a celebrity can be used to forecast demand on the fashion front. On an individual level, he drew on the familiar experience of being bombarded by repetitive questions when talking

to a call centre operator. Companies should instead consider integrating social feedback to better understand a customers’ particular mood right from the beginning. By better understanding their users, he suggested that businesses such as Telcos could leverage analytics to reduce customer churn. Other uses of big data that were suggested include the police tapping on historical data to identify crime hotspots in order to more effectively allocate limited manpower resources, and the melding of historical traffic data with weather prediction to offer the least congested route. The ability to process an unlimited volume of data has passed beyond a concept into something that businesses can benefit from, said Dr. Gururaj. To illustrate the benefits of business analytics in marketing, Dr. Gururaj quoted retail guru John Wanamaker: “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted… I just don’t know which


half.” With big data and predictive analysis, knowing which half may no longer be a pipe dream. So how can businesses get started? “Define your use case and get management support for your use case,” suggested Dr. Gururaj. “The second thing is skills and training related. It is important to start training employees. A lot of use cases start off as really small cases.“

Leveraging Intelligent Systems For all the talk about big data, traditional topics such as virtualisation and cloud computing are still relevant today. According to Dr. Gururaj, IBM is starting to see a lot of mission critical workloads being run on virtualised platforms in the region, though he noted that regional companies are probably “not as virtualised” compared to countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Rich media are better hosted in public than private cloud, according to Dr. Gururaj. This is a sentiment echoed by Chandrasekaran, who suggested that businesses use the public cloud as a service, but also incorporate the flexibility to selectively host services in a private cloud whenever it makes sense to from a scalability and security standpoint. “A lot of enterprise customers are moving towards a hybrid cloud deployment,” said Chandrasekaran. Whether cloud or onsite deployment, the ability for IT to spend more time on innovation was another important topic that was highlighted. As technology takes on a greater role in businesses, greater intelligence and self-learning capabilities need to be built into them, said Dr. Gururaj. Only when the IT department is able to spend less time on tasks such as “maintaining, running and tuning” these systems, would they be able to focus on projects that actually makes a difference to the bottom-line. Underscoring the continued importance of implementing a modern infrastructure, Wee at the panel discussion shared about how ITE as an early adopter was able to leverage the IBM PureFlex system for use as an effective infrastructure as a service (IaaS) layer for 160 ITE

students. “Not only is it scalable and cost effective, it is able to launch in a single session… 84 vCPUs within 10 minutes,” he said. Williams spoke about the importance of improving data centre efficiency, and shared about the successful consolidation of resources in terms of fibre optic cables and computing resources between the National Technological University and the National University of Singapore. “Some of the things we’re doing in the future is [moving from] a 100Mbps to Gigabit [Ethernet]… 10, 40, 100Gbps,” he said. It is evident from the panel discussion that businesses should be circumspect in how they upgrade their existing infrastructure. Indeed, Dr. Gururaj suggested that businesses should build on what they have, rather than perform a “rip and replace”.

Putting IT together When asked about systems that enterprises are buying in the region due to the advent of big data, Cheah Saw Pheng, Director, Systems & Technology Group, IBM Technology, confirmed that the changes here were evident as far as three years ago. Speaking to MIS Asia, she said: “There is a market increase in acquiring more storage devices, because of the whole ballooning of data, whether structure or unstructured.” Factors such as how fast data can be captured, its ease of management as well as

Cheah Saw Pheng, Director, systems & technology group, Ibm technology

availability of storage space have become increasingly important considerations to companies. According to Cheah, the transactions generated by smartphone devices have “definitely increased the amount of data by many, many, fold.” So how can businesses prepare for this deluge of data, and should they be concerned about being locked into proprietary, non-flexible IT implementations? Cheah pointed out that IBM’s cloud-ready technology is aligned to the three key factors: Enterprise grade technology, innovative new products, and openness. “We have always embraced open standards, and we continue to do so when we come out with these technologies,” she said, referring to IBM’s cloudready products. Another way to deal with increasing storage needs may be to compress it, suggested Cheah. “Our RTC [Real Time Compression] systems can compress five times in real time,” she said. “We have quite a number of clients in Singapore… they start to see that data get compressed almost immediately.” Ultimately, IBM is so confident about its solutions that it is willing to do a quick POC, or proof of concept, in selective situations that warrants it. According to Cheah, “this shows them that it really works.”

July–August 2013

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seCUrITY

BYOD AND HOW TO AVOID THEM. BY COLIN NEAGLE

Imagine an organisation where

employees are given several consecutive months of vacation every year. It sounds like a dream, but in the era of BYOD, it could also be an IT exec’s worst nightmare. Erik Greenwood, CTO of the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD), which consists of 21 California schools and 33,000 users with network access, says the end of summer vacation used to mean the beginning of malware season. Faculty members would spend summer break leisurely browsing the web, freely clicking on links, opening email attachments, and only rarely updating their software, Greenwood says. As employees and their devices came back to school, they often brought viruses with them. One virus strain forced a complete re-install and upgrade of the district’s email suite. In another case, the district’s IT department had to “isolate and bring down subnets to try and triangulate the virus,” Greenwood says. Security issues meant his department had to work an extra “couple hundred hours, easy,” he says. “There’s an opportunity there that was lost where we could have been working on other projects,” Greenwood says. Greenwood turned to network access control. “We had a particular strain where our anti-virus was having real challenges addressing the outbreak,” Greenwood says. “And we got to the place where we saw network access control as a necessary piece of infrastructure, not only for the staff piece, but we were looking for it with the incoming students bringing their own device.” And security wasn’t Greenwood’s only concern. He recalls multiple cases in which rogue devices brought down a school’s network. One school flat out ran out of IP addresses to assign its devices. In another case, a rogue device on the network began acting as a DHCP server, competing with the district’s actual DHCP server and distributing IP addresses of its own. He recalls multiple cases in which rogue devices brought down the district’s network. One school flat out ran out of IP addresses to assign its devices. The district deployed a network access control solution from Bradford Networks and customised it to address its unique situation. The school district’s network now sees traffic from more than 12,000

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of its own devices, from PCs to printers, and needs to accommodate a fluctuating number and variety of devices brought from outside. Greenwood says the initiative began at the application layer, and later evolved to include communications apps. The project involved setting policies and restrictions on who can access the network with what devices, what types of content users are allowed to view, and so on. In an everchanging mobile market with new applications and content delivery formats, Greenwood says he prefers to begin with tighter regulations and expand them to accommodate user needs as they arise. “As we continue to grow, we have all of these systems that are competing for bandwidth,” Greenwood says. “And that’s kind of been the thread, trying to grow our network, and that continues to be the challenge.”

Lost and found

reenwood is hardly the only witness to the problems that can arise as a result of BYOD. Endre Walls, CTO of nonprofit Resources for Human Development (RHD), says employees who lost their personal smartphones, which they had secretly synched with their corporate accounts, posed a major data loss risk.

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“Lost devices were a security issue for us, because if the user has our email prior to the implementation of our MDM and our policy, we were out in the wind,” Walls says. “That was always a huge issue for us. A lot of times, the user needed to be able to put two and two together to know, ‘OK, I lost the device, and this is a potential problem for the organisation.’” But few employees who had lost their personal smartphones ever thought to inform the IT department about it, even if that device had been synched with corporate apps. And the chances that these employees had taken it upon themselves to implement authentication on their personal devices were slim, “because there was no policy there [that] was anything saying ‘you have to have a PIN on your phone,’” Walls says. “Before the software and related policies were put in place, you could be talking about days before we even know anything happened,” Walls says. RHD now has the ability to wipe its corporate data and apps from an employee’s personal device, and even offers a complete data wipe if an employee requests it. Just as importantly, the IT department makes all employees aware that any device that has been synched with corporate apps–no matter who it belongs to–needs to be secured if it’s been lost. However, employees don’t even need to lose their device to accidentally leak sensitive corporate data. Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at MDM vendor MobileIron, says many consumer devices are optimised for opening, viewing and saving documents in the cloud. This poses a risk that consumers may never consider. “The No. 1 source of data loss on the iPad was email attachments,” Rege says. “So, traditionally, when you’re using email [in iOS] and you click on an email and there’s an attachment and you click on that, it gives you this menu to open [the document] in all of the readers that you have on the device. So if you click on Dropbox, your corporate data is gone. Every email attachment is one click from the cloud on that device.” Naturally, these problems are enough to send any IT admin-

July–August 2013

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Employees don’t even need to lose their device to accidentally leak sensitive corporate data... Many consumer devices are optimised for opening, viewing and saving documents in the cloud. This poses a risk that consumers may never consider.

istrator rushing to deploy any mobile device management, network access control or mobile data protection software on the market. But deploying the software involves building a strategy, and that can be risky as well.

Legal issues

egal concerns should be a top priority for any company considering launching a new BYOD program, says Ann Marie Cullen, MobileIron’s customer advisory services manager. Cullen works directly with MobileIron customers while they plan and launch their mobile initiatives. “One of the biggest mistakes that we see customers commonly make is not involving the right stakeholders up front when developing their programs,” Cullen says. “So they have to go outside of IT and involve legal, HR, and finance and compliance in developing their programs.” In one case, Cullen saw an IT department put in the time and work developing a strategy just to have the legal department shut it down just before it was deployed. “It puts too much liability on the company, and so they had to basically go back to the drawing board again and do it with legal involved,” she says. As frustrating as that may be, that IT department is lucky the legal team intervened. A 2012 USA Today report found that the number of lawsuits alleging wage-and-hour violations grew 32% from 2008 to 2012. Employees who had sudden access to work information and apps on their personal smartphones were pressured to work additional hours while at home, and filed suit because they were never compensated. One case, involving pharmaceutical sales representatives, reached the US Supreme Court last year. Privacy becomes an issue as well. Any GPS monitoring apps, particularly when used to track an employee, can be dangerous from a legal standpoint. And even businesses that respect their employees’ privacy need to make that clear, Rege says. “The users do get worried about ‘well, is IT going to see my photos, is IT going to read my SMS messages,’” Rege says. “Some of these things aren’t even technically possible. But it’s not a technical question; it’s a question of the relationship between the two.” Another, more technologically justified concern is the extent of the employer’s remote data wipe capabilities. A common solution to the threat of lost devices is to employ a remote wipe tool that allows the organisation to delete all data off a device an employee has misplaced. That worked fine in the days of the corporate-owned BlackBerry, but it has caused some real-world problems for those using their personal phones. While on a family vacation last year, Mimecast CEO Peter Bauer’s 5-year-old daughter got ahold of his iPhone, which he had been using to both check in at work and take photos on the trip. After his daughter accidentally entered the wrong PIN number five times consecutively, the MDM program Bauer himself had approved automatically wiped all data on the device, photos and all. Although many IT departments prefer a partial wipe, which provides the ability to

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July–August 2013

delete only corporate data, Bauer says the company decided on a full wipe because employees often took photos to save information written on whiteboards or projected on-screen during presentations. In that case, a partial wipe was likely to leave sensitive information on a lost device. Bauer’s case is a unique one, but it speaks to the importance of communication when crafting a BYOD initiative. Every business is different, and will need to address mobility in its own way. Especially when dealing with employees’ personal property, communication and feedback are essential to a successful rollout. When addressing BYOD, the IT department can’t be afraid to adjust its role in the organisation, Rege says. “Suddenly saying ‘I’m going to give users more freedom, I’m going to focus on education and communication,’ it doesn’t come naturally for all IT departments,” he says. “I know that we have seen some IT departments struggle because they just don’t know where to draw the line and where not to draw the line. They just grew up in a world where that line was kind of clear.” Indeed, Walls says the BYOD initiative was an opportunity for his IT department to work across the organisation in a way he never has before. A mutual relationship with IT, which may not have existed in the pre-BYOD world, is imperative to keeping other parts of an organisation from suffering the unintended consequences of the mobile workforce. “That’s why awareness, user training, communication is so important. I can’t stress that enough,” Walls says. “This is the first opportunity professionally that I’ve had to implement that kind of strategy, and I think it’s way more effective than anything else that I’ve tried in any other environment.”


B E S T E M E R G I N G T E C H N O LO G Y American International Assurance Bhd Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) CIMB Bank Berhad

Announcing TheFinalists We congratulate the organisations listed on this page upon their entry to the final round of evaluations in this year’s IT Excellence Awards.

The Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd. (Towngas) Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) Ministry of Education of Malaysia (in partnership with YTL Power International) National University of Singapore (NUS) —Centre for Instructional Technology Procter & Gamble, Asia (Singapore) Philippine Business Bank Integrated Health Information Systems (Singapore) Singapore Management University —Integrated Information Technology Services (IITS) Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong

B E S T B OT TO M - L I N E I . T. dwp (design worldwide partnership) Housing and Development Board (Singapore) II-VI Viet Nam Co.,Ltd N2N Connect Berhad (for Bursa Malaysia) Procter & Gamble Europe SA Singapore Branch Sumifru (Philippines) Corporation BEST BUSINESS ENABLER CIMB Bank Berhad DBS Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) Integrated Health Information Systems (Singapore)

STATS ChipPAC Ltd B E S T I . T. G O V E R N A N C E Bank of Ayudhya DBS Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited National Library Board (Singapore) Procter & Gamble International Operations SA (ROHQ) B E S T K N O W L E D G E M A N AG E M E N T Airmate Electric (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Foton Lovol International Heavy Industry Co., Ltd Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturer Ltd. National Skin Centre (Singapore)

Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU)

Procter & Gamble Europe SA Singapore Branch

MISC Integrated Logistics Sendirian Berhad (MILS)

B E S T S E C U R I T Y S T R AT E G Y

National University of Singapore (NUS) —Centre for Instructional Technology

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited

Procter & Gamble Europe SA Singapore Branch T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd B E S T C H A N G E M A N AG E M E N T Flowserve

DBS National Institute of Education (Singapore) Procter & Gamble International Operations SA (ROHQ) Sabah State Computer Services Department (SSCSD), Malaysia Standard Chartered Bank

Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad Procter & Gamble Europe SA Singapore Branch Standard Chartered Bank Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS)

Winners will be announced at the IT Excellence Awards Ceremony, to be held in conjunction with the annual CIO Summit, Singapore on 31 July 2013. For more information about the event, visit www.cio-asia.com/ciosummit2013


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FEATURING

Being a CIO in the New Business World of Tech+ Transformation SINGAPORE • 31 JULY - 1 AUGUST | HONG KONG • 27 AUGUST | KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA • 19 SEPTEMBER FEATURED SPEAKERS

Claus Mortensen Director, Emerging Technology Research, IDC Asia/Pacific

Sandra Ng Group Vice President, Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific

MODERATORS

TC Seow Editor, CIO Asia

Teng Fang Yih Editor, MIS Asia

Jack Loo Editor, Computerword Singapore

AvantiKumar Editor, Computerworld Malaysia

CIO SUMMIT 2013 ADVISORY PANEL

Marcelo De Santis Director, Information Systems & Business Process Excellence, AP, Mondelēz International

Justin Lim Vice President and Chief Information Officer, STATS ChipPAC

Flora Ng Chief Information Officer/Vice President, Regional IT Department, Asia Pacific Consumer Group, Johnson & Johnson

Koh Kok Tian Information Systems Director/ Programme Director, Inchcape Asia / Borneo Motors (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Teo Chin Seng Executive Director, SMU iCity Laboratories

Michael Lee Chief Information Officer & Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings Limited

Miao Song Group Chief Information Officer, Golden Agri Resources

cio-asia.com/ciosummit2013 SUPPORTING MEDIA

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Mis Asia July/August 2013  

MIS Asia magazine unpacks the truth in technology and encourages business-guided IT strategy by offering case studies, best practices, viewp...

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