Forecast the Rooster

Forecast the RoosterAs part of Computerworld Hong Kong’s annual tradition, we asked IT leaders in Hong Kong to sift through a sea of technology buzzwords and breathe life into those that carry the strongest potential to thrive in the next 12 months.

IT leaders in both the public and private sectors see value creation from business data of paramount importance.

“What do you think will drive the development of a knowledge economy in the future? It’s the creation of value, which is founded upon data,” said Nicholas Yang, secretary for Innovation and Technology, ITB.

Yang named three levels of value creation: from the extraction of raw data value, to data analytics, and finally to artificial intelligence (AI), which creates cognitive results based on the collection of data that appears to be random and unrelated. “Big data, internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing are all the major and important technologies for creating value.”

Big data prediction materialized

As regards to big data analytics, Allen Yeung, Government CIO, OGCIO, noted that big data analytics has, as predicted, further gained traction in Hong Kong and globally in 2016.

Legislative Councilor (IT) Charles Mok agreed. He noted there have been more businesses that drove innovation in big data analytics to help with digital transformation. There have also been more industries that embraced e-commerce, by making a move to increase their market share through O2O (online-to-offline) campaigns, social media and improved customer experience.

“Big data was a bit of a buzzword back in 2012; this technology trend has proven it is staying in power,” said Suk-Wah Kwok, regional CIO, Asia Pacific of Lockton Companies. Kwok said it is now possible for big data analysis to take place and show value to the business. This is because big data analysis is largely an evolution of another more established technology concept of business intelligence/business analytics than a brand new invention.

Secondly, the collection of unstructured data has become more easily available. “Analyzing clients and prospect profiles, and understanding their needs are timeless and universal goals for all businesses—that’s where big data analysis is best at. Hence the increased adoption of big data is expected.”

Not all IT leaders were pleased with the pace of big data application, however. “The application of big data is not creating huge value for most organizations,” said Daniel Lai, who currently takes up the roles of Programme Director, Jockey Club Computational Thinking Education Programme, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Professor of Practice (Computing), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

If big data is considered “too far-fetched” for some organizations, perhaps they can focus more on perfecting mobile and digital marketing-related technologies, said Michael Yung, head of eProduct and Technology Planning, Asia Miles.