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APAC CIOs desire compliance, data protection skills

Regulatory and compliance issues, privacy and data protection laws top CIOs' wishlist to stay relevant as industry evolves due to cloud and data offshoring, new study finds.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor on

The evolving IT landscape, driven by cloud computing and increase in data, is forcing CIOs in Asia-Pacific to reevaluate their roles and be skilled in areas beyond technology, such as knowledge in compliance and data protection regulations, according to a new study.

Released on Thursday, the study's findings stated that regional CIOs want to pick up new skills to better manage the changing demands on their job. More than half, or 55 percent, of executives polled expressed such sentiments.

Commissioned by CA Technologies and conducted by Vanson Bourne in June last year, the 270 CIOs polled--spanning retail, telecommunications, financial services and manufacturing sectors--were from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

In terms of skills that these executives wanted to be equipped with, the study found that regulatory and compliance issues, privacy and data protection laws, as well as the need to understand risk were the top requests.

The need for such skills was most apparent in organizations with between 1,001 and 3,000 employees, with 76 percent of respondents saying the knowledge would be key to their future effectiveness, it added.

Driving the need for such skills is cloud computing and the increasing adoption among companies to backup their data in other sites, often overseas, the study showed.

"It is no longer enough to be technologically competent; there is a need to fully understand the changing legal ramifications of handling data," the study stated.

According to the study, understanding commercial procurement was the next most desired skill for 54 percent of respondents, followed by negotiation and sales skills at 52 percent, competency in legal matters at 46 percent, and service performance skills at 28 percent.

"The CIO's role is now being challenged and redefined. They need to optimize technology planning in the context of the business goals," said Lionel Lim, Asia-Pacific president of CA Technologies, in the press statement.

Emergence of 'cloud CIOs'
The study also showed 87 percent of respondents indicating that those proficient in cloud computing, described as "cloud CIOs", are more adept to use IT to grow the business to the extent that it should. By comparison, only 55 percent of CIOs who are not investing in cloud said the same, it said.

"As IT becomes more integrated with other business functions, 'cloud CIOs' can better leverage the capabilities of these new technologies and optimize IT's value to the business," Lim said.

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