Learn to love technology

Lack of digital literacy could hamper growth

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2012, 1:10pm

In today's competitive world, senior executives of a company have to possess all-round abilities. This is the finding of research conducted by CA Technologies.

The study revealed that business leaders believe their peers must embrace the true value of technology and that 81 per cent of the Asia-Pacific chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed believe a lack of digital literacy among senior executives could be hampering growth.

Only 20 per cent of Asian CIOs felt that their management fully understood the capabilities and impact of new and emerging technologies. Nine Asian markets were involved in the global survey and they were: Australia, China (including Hong Kong) India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

CA says the study shows that while business leaders may lack digital literacy, they largely do understand the role of technology in their organisations, where about 75 per cent of Asian CIOs feel management consider IT to be strategically important.

CIOs fear senior-level digital illiteracy is causing a lack of market responsiveness, missed business and investment opportunities, poor competitiveness and slower time to market. Lionel Lim, president, Asia Pacific and Japan at CA Technologies, says Asian business leaders have largely accepted that IT has a role to play in enhancing the competitiveness of businesses. For IT to be truly transformational to businesses, leaders need to elevate the role of CIOs to be more strategic than operational.

The report highlights that almost a quarter of CIOs believe senior executives see IT as a cost of doing business, rather than as a means to grow the organisation, make processes more efficient and introduce greater agility and competitiveness.

As a result, it is not surprising that only 17 per cent of CIOs are always involved in the strategic decision-making process, impeding the digital strategic thinking of the senior leadership team.

On Hong Kong, the study shows that the city has consistently showed itself as a benchmark market in Asia-Pacific in recognising the role of CIOs and IT investments in driving business success.

Respondents from Hong Kong say that management members see the CIO as becoming an increasingly important member of the team.

Notably, 50 per cent of IT decision makers from Hong Kong involved in the study say their management teams view IT as fundamental to organisations' success.