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HR & EDUCATION, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Less than 2 in 5 Singaporean business leaders think their tech strategies are "mature"

These leaders also think their IT departments don’t listen to them.

"Line of business" (LOB) leaders in Singapore expect digital technologies to change what they do in the future, and they placed high priority on technology-related skills when asked what they will need in the future to succeed in their roles, according to a research by Fujitsu.

The 500 Singaporean leaders from Marketing, Human Resource, Finance, and Operations who took part in the research shared their views on digital and how it impacts their work. With the exception of Finance leaders seeing ‘flexible work’ as the trend having the greatest impact in 2017, the majority of LOB leaders from other roles cited ‘changing customer behavior’.

Whilst the type of digital technologies they view as important are role-specific, the benefits available from these technologies are viewed as consistent across all roles: real-time access to accurate information, achieving goals more quickly or efficiently, and spending less time on manual tasks.

Here’s more from the research:

The top challenges listed by LOB leaders suggest that their organisations have yet to take full advantage of these benefits available from digital technologies. Marketing LOB respondents said they want to provide better customer experiences and react more rapidly to the competition, for instance, whilst Finance LOB leaders were concerned about understanding market swings and keeping pace with always-on access to data. Report generation was one of the top challenges for Operations leaders, and talent management a focus for LOB respondents in HR.

One in two Singaporean business leaders say their organisation has already begun an organisation-wide digital transformation programme. When asked how they rate their organisation’s overall strategy regarding technology as it relates to their role, less than 40% think that the strategies are mature. A number of LOB leaders also felt that IT department has not listened to them, saying that the “IT department doesn’t understand my needs as a business user”.

The key frustrations felt by business leaders about technology were connectivity, manual processes, understanding needs, and supporting or enabling the use of new technologies.

With these frustrations, it is not surprising that nearly 20% of all LOBs in Singapore already bypass the IT department to make technology purchases at their own discretion, with a further 20% in full control via the IT department. LOB leaders across all roles expect to take charge of their technology needs in the next 24 months, either independently, or in collaboration with IT.

“Singaporean LOB leaders welcome digital transformation and want to see more of the benefits from digital technology implementations in coming months, even going so far as to take a more active role on IT decisions. It is imperative for the CIOs and the IT department to collaborate more closely with LOBs to ensure that they are not only maximising value for LOBs with the digital solutions they want, but also fulfilling organisational goals at the same time,” said Wong Heng Chew, country president, Fujitsu Singapore.  

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