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What keeps Asia’s CIOs awake at night?

Updated: 25 Jul 2016


• “The IT landscape is continually changing, so you must keep abreast of the changes to become an enabler and driver of change.”
• “We are undergoing a very rapid change in several industries right now with technology disruptors.”
• “You need to know how to align IT to the business.”

These are the comments of some of the 307 CIOs Hays spoke to for the recruiter’s recently published ‘DNA of a CIO Asia’ report.

Despite the robust technical background of most CIOs, the rapidly changing economic and technical environment requires the CIO to stay on their toes in order to act quickly and more innovatively.

When asked what their greatest professional challenge was in the next 12 months, topping the CIO’s list was ‘achieving company objectives’ (23%). This was followed by ‘keeping up-to-date- with new technology’ (19%) and ‘assessing new technology and sorting the fads from the tools that add value to the business’ (13%).

“CIOs are required to process new, and often technical information quickly and translate these technical findings and innovations into a language understandable for the rest of the executive suite”, says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

Adding to the pressure, is the fact that the CIO role is becoming more influential and 50 per cent of the respondents predict the need for CIOs to become more innovative in the next five years.

These challenges require the CIO to stay constantly focused and switched on. In terms of the working week, 46 to 55 hours is the norm for 48 per cent of CIOs surveyed. A further 23 per cent work 56 to 65 hours and 8 per cent reach more than 65 hours on a weekly basis.

“Achieving work-life balance is a challenge for the modern CIO in Asia. Technology works around-the-clock and has to be up and running 24/7,” adds Christine.

CIOs work long hours and given the intense nature of the job, work-life balance is hugely important to sustain high performance in the role long term.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Finding a balance between work and home life is a challenge that every person must find their own solution to since we all have our own unique personal circumstances.

“Work-life balance is more of a decision than a challenge and professionals should accept that their workload will never be fully completed regardless of how many hours they work each week. It’s also important that employers foster a culture that encourages a healthy work-life balance,” concludes Christine.

About the report

Hays’ ‘DNA of a CIO Asia’ report gives aspiring CIOs an insight into what it takes to achieve a leading role in Information Technology in Asia. It is based on one-on-one interviews with 307 IT leaders and further in-depth profiles of CIOs, whose unique insights are shared throughout the report.


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2015 the Group employed 9,420 staff operating from 248 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015:

– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;
– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA.

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