It's time crystal-ball gazing, and in the career field, there seems to be some exciting roles to play, according to global executive search firm CTPartners which has just issued a list of the hottest jobs for the technology, media and telecommunications industries in Asia for 2014.
CTPartners said several key factors will drive senior executive hiring in 2014. Big Data will only grow bigger, as organisations race to collect and monetise information to gain competitive advantage. Tied to Big Data, the adoption of cloud services also continues on a large scale, enabling access to data, changing how we interact with mobile devices and offering anytime, anywhere access to content. Cybersecurity remains a top priority in the wake of several scandals in the region.
Kathryn Yap, managing partner at CTPartners in Singapore said: "As 2014 continues to pose some ambiguity in the Asian markets, it is hard to predict if the TMT sector is going to have as strong a year in recruitment as what we witnessed five to ten years ago."
So which senior jobs will be in demand next year? Here are eight senior Asia Pacific tech roles that will be in high demand in 2014, particularly in Singapore and China:
1. Chief Digital Officer, Head of eCommerce/Omni-Channel
Big data will be driving the digital transformation of the business organisation. And leading the drive will be someone with the right skills to guide his or her organisation towards achieving agility and information transparency. According to CTPartners, in retail, the omni-channel movement allowing consumers to have a seamless shopping experience across all channels is now the status quo and creating a true customer-centric approach means winning the game. The "consumerisation of B2B" requires the creation of a digital experience that matches what customers experience in the real world.
2. Chief Risk Officer/Cybersecurity/Information Security Officer
Protecting an organisation's digital assets has never been more important or more difficult, said Yap, and the ability of a company to assure its customers their data is secure is a top-three corporate priority. Despite the progress they are making, too many organisations are still placing more emphasis on what is in front of them and what they know and not nearly enough on what may be just around the corner or appearing on the horizon. Hence, this job calls for knowledge and experience in cybersecurity.
3. Chief Marketing Officer
The CMO role is rapidly evolving, and CMOs across all market sectors increasingly need the ability to use analytics to drive revenue and growth, to forge their influence and significance to the organisation, said Yap. In demand are customer centric and digitally savvy marketing leaders capable of developing new business models and creating and implementing strategic marketing programs that span multiple platforms, improving customer engagement in a more personalised and cheaper way.
4. Vice President, M-Commerce, Retail
M-commerce has become the new e-commerce, as sophisticated digital and mobile capability converges with consumers who are increasingly confident in and reliant on multi-tasking with their smartphones and tablets. Retailers continue to bring new mobile options to consumers, and with increased security advances in mobile devices and more sophisticated apps, executives who understand mobile user behaviour and needs will be in demand.
5. Managing Director, Data Scientist/Data Analytics Leader
Wrapping scientific data around human behaviours is becoming increasingly important in consulting, as well as in the consumer packaged goods and retail banking markets. Enhanced customer relationship management and the development of products and services based on predictive consumer behaviour spending patterns require the need for advanced interpretation of complex data sets. Utilising analytics and customer data is now primarily seen as a competitive tool that has a calculated ROI.
6. Chief Creative Officer, Media/Television
The proliferation of programming available through both traditional and non-traditional means, from cable TV to video on demand to new ways to watch content, have made the landscape for content highly competitive. Creative roles have always been key to any IP-driven business, but typically these positions have not been in the C-suite, with the exception of the founder.
7. Board Director, Digital
Many organisations still lack digital orientation and know-how on their boards of directors. This makes it difficult for a board to fully participate in strategic discussions regarding the opportunities presented by digital technology and digital-based services, or even ask senior management the right questions. Hence, boards will need leaders with the depth of experience, operational understanding, strategic business insights, and gravitas to provide strong leadership and influence on digital matters.
8. Chief Information Officer, 2015
Wither the CIO? Not quite, according to CTPartners.The CIO of the coming years, dubbed "CIO 2015", is at the forefront of many trends associated with other hot jobs: data, mobile, digital and analytics. The CIO's focus has migrated from the back office to the boardroom, making the role more visible, in greater demand and hotter than ever. In addition, many companies are adding "Senior Vice President" or other monikers to CIO titles, reflecting the increasing importance of IT within organisations and the increasing responsibility of the CIO.