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What keeps Asia’s CIOs awake at night?


  • “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 in the recently published ‘DNA of a CIO Asia’ report.

Despite the robust technical background of most CIOs, the rapidly changing economic and technical environment requires CIOs 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.

Given the intense nature of the job, work-life balance is hugely important to sustain high performance in the role long term. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Finding a balance between work and home life is a challenge that differs with every person given their 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.

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

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For further information please contact Esabella Yeung, Marketing Executive SEA, Asia at Hays, on +65 6424 0158 or



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