Who is the CIO?\nThe Chief Information Officer (CIO) or IT Director is the senior executive responsible for the information technology (IT) systems supporting the business needs and goals of an enterprise.\nThe role and responsibilities of the CIO are evolving with the changing business landscape. While remaining focused on technology is still a necessity of the job, CIOs are now being challenged to use IT strategies and solutions to drive business innovation and transformation through the application of emerging technologies.\n\u201cThe CIO today is under tremendous pressure to transform and at the same time perform,\u201d says Gerard Chai, chairman at consulting firm Korn Ferry Singapore and head of its technology officers practice in APAC.\n\u201cThey now have the pressing need to quickly evolve IT from being utility order takers to value-creating business partners. In order to thrive in the \u2018new normal\u2019 of disruptive change, CIOs today needs to influence their organisations to put the right conditions in place to be able to continually transform and thus becoming digitally sustainable.\u201d\nCloud computing has brought with it a whole new ecosystem that needs to be taken into consideration, while the growing emphasis on analytics means data must now be thought about more carefully.\nUltimately, this means that modern CIOs are taking on a more strategic business role than their predecessors. As Chai explains, \u201cThere is no escape from driving digital transformation \u2013 to remain static would put the future of the organisation at serious risk.\u201d\nNot only that, but inability to go beyond the traditional functions of the classic CIO \u2013 such as maintaining systems and operationally responding or reacting to the business \u2013 will put CIOs at risk of losing their jobs.\n\u201cCIOs have slowly migrated from being the one keeping the lights on into a role that is often in the spotlight,\u201d says Nathan Kamstra, CIO of Indonesian startup Urbanhire. \u201cSo much of business now relies on technology that it's no longer about simple cost and risk mitigation.\u201d\nAmong the \u00a0strategic imperatives required of the modern CIO, Chai mentions the rapid escalation of technological capabilities across the organisation and the implementation of working methods such as agile to increase productivity. In Singapore, for example, the chief digital and information officer of the National Gallery has successfully adopted an artificial intelligence sales assistant that can automate sales emails for the company\u2019s venue rental team.\nIn order to support the business side of the organisation, CIOs need to move from being order takers to full business partners and strategic leaders by demonstrating talent and leadership skills.\n\u201cThe CIO\u2019s role now spans charting the strategic direction of the company through leading digital change management,\u201d says Adrian Jones, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and Japan at Automation Anywhere.\nOn top of these tasks, Southeast Asian CIOs have some specific challenges to overcome, including recruiting and retaining talent, cyber threats, lack of organisational alignment and being able to convince the CEO of their potential to impact the business.\nHow much do CIOs get paid in Southeast Asia?\nThe salary of a CIO varies from country to country across the ASEAN region and can change depending on industry and years of experience.\nBelow is a guide to typical per annum earnings of CIOs across different industries in six countries where data from Michael Page and Robert Walters recruiting firms was available.\n\nIndonesia (IT Chief): 700m \u2013 1,000m IDR (US$52,000 - $74,000)\nMalaysia (IT Director): 240,000 \u2013 420,000 MYR (US$59,000 - $103,000)\nPhilippines: 6.0m - 11.0m PHP (US$118,000 - $216,000)\nSingapore: S$190,000 \u2013 S$360,000 (US$141,000 - $267,000)\nThailand: 1.5m \u2013 4.0m THB (US$49,000 - $131,000)\nVietnam (Head of IT): US$65,000 \u2013 US$130,000\n\nConversion to USD valid as 24 January 2020.\nWho does the CIO report to?\nThere is often an assumption within businesses that the C-Suite Executive team should all report to the CEO but this isn\u2019t always the case.\nThe findings from a recent Korn Ferry survey - yet to be released - on CIOs shows that 67 percent of CIOs globally report to the CEO. The remainder generally report to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a pattern more typical in Southeast Asian countries, ensuring sprawling IT budgets are defined, met and understood.\nThere are also a few CIOs who report to the Chief Operation Officer (COO).\nEven if the CIO doesn\u2019t report directly to the CEO, the relationship between the two can prove vital to the running of a company, especially as organisations continue discovering the benefits of taking a digital-first approach to business.\nWhen the CIO and CEO communicate well and work together collaboratively, it helps ensure that digital strategies are implemented smoothly, and best practices are scaled throughout the business.\nWhat skills do you need to be a successful CIO?\nGood management and interpersonal skills are essential qualities for any CIO wanting to set and implement a company-wide strategy.\nA CIO who can\u2019t communicate effectively with both their team and fellow C-Suite executives or board members is unlikely to be successful in the role. Problem solving, creativity and innovation are all necessary qualities organisations look for when hiring a modern CIO.\n\u201cBest-in-class CIOs need to balance stakeholders, cultivate innovation, have strategic vision and global perspective, and be able to adapt to different situations,\u201d says Korn Ferry\u2019s Chai. \u201cIn addition to these skills, top CIOs should be able to develop talent, learn fast and navigate networks.\u201d\u00a0\nUnsurprisingly, as the responsibilities of the CIO move away from being purely technical, there has been an increase in CIOs joining companies form less-traditional backgrounds.\nHowever, in Asia, where the role of the CIO is somewhat narrower, 62 percent of CIOs have a degree in information technology, computer science or a related field. Furthermore, 78 percent of CIOs from the region report that they have only ever worked in IT.\nFundamentally, an effective CIO is one who can balance the technical and strategic skills necessary to fulfil all the responsibilities of the job to achieve business success.