Inaugural CDO Asia Summit Highlights Growing Digital Mandate

Digital is now mainstream, and it is changing the way we work, compete and collaborate. It was the key message of the inaugural CDO Asia Summit in Singapore.

The one-day event, held on May 9, 2018, saw nearly 130 delegates, including over 20 speakers and moderators, participate. The speakers came from Accenture Digital, AXA, The Coca-Cola Company, Chubb, DB Schenker, DHL eCommerce, Forrester, Fonterra, GE Power, Google APAC, Johnson & Johnson, Prudential, PT Marsh Indonesia, NTUC Link, Ovum, SGX, Sephora, State Street Global Exchange, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, TIBCO Software, Timber Wolf Media, UBS Wealth Management and UOB.

The event began with an in-depth look at the evolving job scope of Chief Digital Officers. Luis Gonzalez, former CDO APAC, GE Power noted that firms are still exploring the nature of the job. While some CDOs view their jobs as a transient role before the digital initiative makes them redundant, all agreed that a CDO or a digital office that orchestrates digital transformation is a necessity.

The rise of digital transformation is also changing the way organizations are working together. In a unique joint presentation led by Arvind Mathur, Chief Information and Technology Officer and Namrata Jolly, Director, Head Customer & Digital at Prudential noted how they worked together to drive digital transformation in their organization, drive results and shape the internal culture to become innovative.

The morning session ended with an in-depth look at how UOB is doing more than lip service to customer centricity, and how firms like NTUC Link, SGX, and State Street Global Exchange are shaping their businesses through data.

The afternoon sessions zeroed in on the hot-button issue: omnichannel. Representatives from AXA, Johnson & Johnson and Sephora show why omnichannel e-commerce is becoming vital for future revenues and attracting new customers. They noted that it takes more than the marketing or IT team to make omnichannel successful and requires the participation of the entire enterprise. 

A separate panel that featured The Coca-Cola Company, DB Schenker, Fonterra and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company showed why today's digital leaders need to be great orchestrators to ensure digital transformation initiatives succeed. Meanwhile, a riveting presentation from TIBCO Software showed the value of big data analytics in digital transformation.

The well-attended event ended on a high note with two separate live interviews onstage. The first saw Accenture Digital and UBS Wealth Management discuss the pivotal role that AI will play in firms while arguing that CDOs still need to understand what their "problem statement" was.

Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce and Alistair Fraser-Hawkins, President Director & CEO, PT Marsh Indonesia offered an important viewpoint from the top on how they view digital trends and why they believe that embracing digital concepts like AI, robotics and blockchain are paramount for future survival.

CDO Asia Summit will come to Hong Kong on October 25, 2018. 

Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez, former CDO APAC, GE Power says the job of the CDO is always evolving.
Strong attendance and keen questions show digital transformation maturing in the region.
Power-packed panel discussions tackled difficult yet practical questions that all digital leaders face daily.