Global CIO Forum, RosettaNet host WebSummit on post-lockdown strategies

On July 2, RosettaNet Singapore and Global CIO Forum, GCF, hosted the APAC and Middle East Chapter of the Post Lockdown Strategies: CIOs Rethink, Reset and Restart WebSummit. In the prevailing conditions created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the GCF WebSummit series with RosettaNet Singapore offers insights across diversified industries, countries and geographies, for CIOs to analyse and adapt them to specific market segmentations on the road to recovery.

GCF Technology Research Insights 2020 for APAC

As a keynote, the Global CIO Forum Technology Research Insight 2020 for APAC was launched by Manoj Saxena, Chairman of RosettaNet Singapore GS1 Digital Standards. It’s first in a series of technology 360 degree market research to provide in-depth insights into digital trends and drivers for innovation. The research is a part of Global CIO Forum’s continued efforts to reinforce the vision of One industry, One Voice.

Saxena said, “The core objective of Technology Research Insight 2020 is to help the industry and technology leaders to assess the level of maturity and readiness of where they stand, the risks of being left behind, and guide them to build customer-centric roadmaps specific to their industry and geography in order to stay competitive.”

The findings from the research will be used to deliver actionable programmes by technology thought-leaders and consortiums globally through webinars, round-table discussions, training programs, and others. The research will set priorities for the short- and long-term, driven by the thought-provoking industry leaders, evangelists, government agencies, and educational institutions.

To participate: The Global CIO Forum Technology Research Insight 2020.

The WebSummit

The welcome note for the Post Lockdown Strategies: CIOs Rethink, Reset and Restart WebSummit was delivered by Malavika Shanker, President South East Asia GEC Media Group. She said, “In the pandemic storm, as we navigate the deep dark ocean of business, it’s our endeavour to create a series of GCF Websummits, bringing together tech leaders across geographies and industries to discuss problems and look for solutions for the greater good of the community.”

Loh Sin Yong, Director, Trade Sectoral Transformation Group, Infocomm Media Development Authority, IMDA, talked on the topic of Trade Trust: A Cross-border Blockchain Digitization Initiative. He said, “Covid-19 has brought about disruptions to businesses and our lives on a scale we’ve never seen before. The disruptions has shifted our attitude and elevated our priorities in relation to the need for digitalisation, especially in international trade that relies heavily on paper-based processes. The solution cannot be just a technical one, but needs to be an embodiment of business needs, standardisation, law, and technology.”

“Our multi-disciplinary approach to developing TradeTrust has seen encouraging results. For the very first time, we are witnessing the ability to create an electronic document of title on one platform and subsequently exchanged and transacted in a peer-to-peer manner across different digital platforms throughout its life cycle. With TradeTrust, we are now able to deal with a class of key trade documents that have resisted digitalisation until today.”

To check out the Trade trust programme details:

The WebSummit then moved on to an engrossing discussion featuring a distinguished and cross-border panel of industry and government leaders, who also shared their post-Covid recovery strategies. The panel included Loh Sin Yong, Manoj Saxena, Ajay Rathi, Director IT, Dubai Healthcare City Authority; Eng Mohammed Mahnashi, Consultant at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia; Atul Gaur, Director, Savex Technologies; and Khang Nguyen Trieu, CIO Asia Pacific at Accor. The Post Lockdown Strategies: CIOs Rethink, Reset and Restart WebSummit concluded with a Q&A session.

The event had an overwhelming response with over 880 registrations. With the cross-border distinguished speakers and engaging audience it was a successful start for the APAC and Middle East series.

Other key insights

Atul Gaur discussed how many companies in distribution and supply chain are facing acute drop in demand for products and services , albeit some products are also getting impacted by shortages. This disruption has resulted in significant inventory imbalances while slowing sales have also resulted in revenues getting adversely impacted. Compounded effect of slowing collections and liabilities of payments to suppliers, have resulted in massive working capital stress and negative cash-flows.

He added, “It is therefore critical for companies to take measures to shift focus on products, with higher sales velocity and better inventory predictability. Manage working capital issues by renegotiating payments terms both with suppliers and customers and invest in areas which can automate processes which will not only help in cutting manpower costs but  also improve agility.”

“Cutting down costs of distribution and usage of technology in the go-to-market automation tools is critical; such as investments in e-commerce tools for B2B or B2C processes must be actively explored. While automation must be a key priority, to preserve cash, companies must explore more OPEX based services  instead of CAPEX  and therefore usage of SaasS based software services or HaaS is critical. Other areas to invest is in products such as Robotics Process Automation which have long term benefits and will also help in cutting costs.”

Ajay Rathi observed that every crisis is an opportunity to pivot. Digital transformation to a new way of life will evolve at a speed we have never imagined. “We are at the right juncture to Reset-Rethink-Restart a new world of opportunities and happiness for a better tomorrow.”

Mahnashi pointed out that an agile and comprehensive plan will help to mitigate all risks and give a healthy recovery after the lockedown. There are many lesson to be learned from this pandemic:

  • Do not underestimate any case.
  • Be ready with plans for future pandemic and lockedowns.
  • Do not refuse new ideas. What was impossible in 2019 is the saviour in 2020. This include work from home, e-learning, virtual stores, virtual meetings.
  • Reprioritise is a must.

Khang noted that with heavy lasting business downturn, sustainable cost savings will be key to preserve cashflow. Being lean will be key to be able to create margin to invest on preparing the future. To manage a context with enormous uncertainties and very short visibility, having different reversible options which can be implemented progressively depending on how the situation unfolds can be very helpful. In hospitality, domestic markets are the current focus as international travel will probably take a long time before becoming fluid again.

He added, “People and companies usually change only when they have hit the wall. In this case, Covid-19 has been the wall and it has accelerated digitalisation of many companies significantly as well as showcasing whole new ways of working and this will probably continue.”

About GCF Unite WebSummit

Global CIO Forum’s GCF Unite WebSummit is an online webinar that is aimed towards creating a global technology leaders’ community whose ultimate goal is to Integrate, Influence, Impact CIOs and tech leaders. The GCF Unite WebSummit will host a series of events in multiple chapters and 30+ countries featuring successful local Tech leaders, CIOs, IT Directors, innovators, educators and investors who share business leadership best practices, and lessons learned on the road to building great future with help of technocrat & technology.

About Global CIO Forum

The role of a CIO is one of the most critical one in today’s business and industry. Today, CIOs hold the future of innovation, productivity and competitiveness in their hands. At the Global CIO Forum, we not only provide our members with an exchange forum for best IT leadership strategies and practices to enhance business results, but we are also developing a strong voice to ensure that CIOs are represented at key industry and government decision tables. In other words: Integrate. Influence. Impact.

The Global CIO Forum’s mission is to represents IT Executives and CIOs globally. Currently working in META region and with expansion plans globally, the Global CIO Forum is a non-profit community of CIOs and IT leaders whose mission is to facilitate networking, sharing of best practices and executive development, and to collaborate on issues faced by the CIOs/IT Executives.