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Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

'The IT strategy is the corporate strategy'

21 June 2019

4 minute read

Ted Suen 1

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry, ANU alumnus Ted Suen shares his insights on the phrase "IT Boom", changes to corporate IT strategies, and Hong Kong’s digital transformation. 

Q. Given that there are constant, rapid changes to the world of Information Technology, how do you perceive the phrase “IT Boom”?

I agree that there is a ‘Boom’ in the IT industry in terms of the rapid changes and evolution of emerging technologies, such as AI, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Data Analytics. With all these new technologies, there is a huge demand for skilled IT professional people to support all the different types of enterprise digital transformation. Furthermore, it is also very challenging for IT professionals to help general business users to understand the latest emerging technologies in a business context, and how to apply emerging technologies to real world business problems in innovative ways. In short, there is an "IT Boom" in terms of the huge demand for IT knowledge in applying the latest emerging technologies to support enterprises, to get the unprecedent business opportunities through digital transformation.

Q. From your experience, could you identify the most significant change to corporate IT strategies?

In the past, many organisations treated IT as a back-office function, a cost centre, with a focus on automation of manual process and Office Automation support functions. Many organisations have now started realising the importance of investing in IT. They see that digital transformation could help their business transform in terms of business growth, to stay competitive, and expand their business. Many organisations include a comprehensive IT strategy as part of their overall corporate strategy. Some organisations even form strategy, innovation and technology units to look at how to use digital technologies for transforming their businesses.

The Hong Kong IT community also has a close bond with different components of the bigger eco-systems...there is strong link between academic, industry practitioners, suppliers and users, as well as its Government.

Q. How do you assess Hong Kong’s digital transformation?

There are quite a number of successful cases of digital transformation in number of large enterprises in Hong Kong across different industries. Several organisations are embarking on digital transformation journeys and I believe we will see more and more successful cases in the coming years. The Hong Kong Government is working hard to promote IT investments in areas supporting SME, start-up, academia, and higher education extending to high school. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Government is also implementing a number of initiatives, including the smart city scheme.

Q. What can the rest of the region and the world learn from Hong Kong’s IT community?

The Hong Kong IT community is quite diversified in terms of the number of different associations, focusing at different industries and technologies. Hong Kong IT professionals are willing to work overseas and adapt to new technologies and environments. The Hong Kong IT community also has a close bond with different components of the bigger eco-systems, in the sense that there is strong link between academic, industry practitioners, suppliers and users, as well as its Government. 

Q. After graduating from ANU with a double degree in Economics and Computer Science, you have travelled the world in various capacities. In what ways do you feel your experience at ANU could be linked to your success?

After graduating from ANU, I acquired further post-graduate degrees. The teaching mode and examination approach was a good intellectual challenge. But I still think the way that I was educated, the study atmosphere, the campus environment, and the resident halls allowed me to build up a very solid foundation for my career development. 

Ted Suen will be speaking at a CBE alumni and friends event in Hong Kong on 5 July. Click here for more details. 

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs in Economics. Click here for more details.

Updated:   11 February 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team