Lenovo group serves up solutions for CIOs
SSG brings the company's IT offerings and services into one dedicated organisation
As digital transformation is becoming a vital approach among organisations to scale and stay competitive, global tech and IT powerhouse Lenovo is gearing up to provide chief information officers (CIOs) with solutions to easily deal with complex tasks.
"CIOs are playing a more important role beyond IT procurement and management by engaging more in business strategies and human resources. They also have to ensure business continuity and pursue environmentally friendly approaches as well as the concept of ESG [environmental, social and governance]," said Thaneth Angkasirisan, Lenovo's general manager for Indochina.
During the pandemic, digital transformation became an important agenda item among organisations because of the rise of remote work and digital engagement by customers, and CIOs are the "heart" of organisations in the pursuit of this journey.
CIOs need to react fast and ensure security for remote work to support business continuity.
According to Lenovo's global survey of more than 500 CIOs, 90% of respondents say their role and responsibilities have expanded beyond technology, including non-traditional areas such as data analytics and business reporting (56%), sustainability/ESG (45%), diversity, equity and inclusion (42%), human resource/talent acquisition (39%) and sales/marketing (32%).
Some 82% said the CIO role has become more challenging compared with two years ago because they are facing various unique challenges, including the increasing use of artificial intelligence, automation, talent acquisition and a remote workforce.
CIOs find it most difficult to solve challenges related to data privacy/security (66%), cybersecurity/ransomware (66%), keeping up with technological change (65%), managing fragmented IT vendor ecosystems (61%) and adopting/deploying new technology (60%).
Generally, respondents agree that their technology vendors play an "invaluable" role in their firm's overall success.
CIOs expect to turn to their vendors to help them solve a myriad of problems over the next five years, including increasing agility (60%), providing security (52%), simplifying the configuration as well as tech deployment and maintenance (50%) and optimising costs (43%).
Most CIOs (57%) say they would replace half or more of their company's current technology and 92% say they would consider adding new as-a-Service (aaS) offerings over the next two years.
Mr Thaneth said modern CIOs need to gear up for a more strategic role while paying significant attention to operating expenses by adopting a pay-per-use model amid economic headwinds.
In understanding the needs of CIOs, the company established Lenovo Solutions and Services Group (SSG), which brings together all of Lenovo's IT solutions and services across PC, infrastructure and smart verticals, including attached services, managed services and aaS offerings, into one dedicated organisation.
"Our offerings range from devices to cloud services, via one source for accountability, a single point of contact and invoicing. We are positioning ourselves as a trusted partner in transformation," he said.
Under Lenovo TruScale, we provide CIOs with easy ways to manage IT by optimising buying, deploying, managing and scaling without incremental capital expenditures, said Mr Thaneth.
CIOs will have more time to focus on strategic imperatives and tangible business outcomes like improving workforce productivity infrastructure flexibility or tackling vertical-specific issues, he said.
"We have services, ranging from attached services to purchases of our devices and managed services, as well as as-a-Service with pay-per-use charges," said Mr Thaneth.
The company also has ThinkShield, a customisable security platform to secure mobile devices for employees.
The rise of hybrid learning has spurred the transformation of educational institutions around the globe. Lenovo offers smart education solutions to empower the new era of learning beyond physical classrooms, so both educators and students can learn, collaborate and create in a secure and trusted environment.
Lenovo's solutions provide simulation and visualisation capabilities that increase the immersive experience for learners, aiming to improve effectiveness, Mr Thaneth said. Lenovo VR Classroom 2 enables virtual reality in education in fields such as medicine, aerospace and social sciences to be taught in an immersive way.
"Our education solutions empower professors to integrate VR lessons for real-world applications," he said.
As digital transformation accelerates, the company is also working with partners such as Microsoft to equip learners and empower educational institutions with technologies to help them succeed in a digital future, said Mr Thaneth.
"In Thailand we partnered with Microsoft to launch Lenovo EdVision, a campaign that aims to empower educators and students with tailor-made solutions for the classroom," he said.
SMART WORKFORCE TRANSFORMATION
The company also provides ThinkSmart Hub, a solution aimed at helping teams collaborate better from wherever work gets done. In offices, the device enables employees to meet virtually to ensure working remotely never becomes an issue.
For hospitals or healthcare organisations, the device supports telemedicine services. It allows doctors to see more patients without having to travel. Clinicians can collaborate with remote specialists to deliver better patient care, while medical institutions can efficiently expand the reach of medical training, said Mr Thaneth.
"We provide a tailor-made service that responds to customers' needs," he said.
Augmented reality (AR) and VR devices are coming under the spotlight as significant tools for specific tasks, such as remote assistance, civil engineering, guided workflow and training, remote data visualisation and design collaboration.
Lenovo's ThinkReality provides a proven, scalable and streamlined path from proof of concept to productivity for enterprise AR/VR applications. The approach is one of stepping stones towards the metaverse and Lenovo is investing in R&D in this emerging technology, said Mr Thaneth.
Apart from services and solutions, Lenovo is also supporting businesses with devices such as the ThinkPad and ThinkStation that come with Windows 11 Pro, which was designed to enhance hybrid work. It helps employees stay productive and connected through collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.
In June, Lenovo announced its plan to acquire a stake worth US$614 million in two digital units of Hong Kong telecom firm PCCW.
The world's largest personal computer maker indicated it would buy an 80% stake in Digital Era Enterprises and a 20% stake in PCCW Network Services.
The investment partnership is expected to benefit from the combined resources and experience of Lenovo and PCCW, including complementary service offerings, operational expertise, go-to-market capabilities, technical development capabilities and highly skilled talent pools.
Lenovo can expand its IT services capabilities, its suite of service offerings as well as the geographic and vertical coverage of customers and partners.
Market data estimates the Asia IT services market to be worth roughly $320 billion as of 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 10% to exceed $470 billion by 2026.
In the second quarter, SSG delivered high profitability and growth with a revenue increase of 23% year-on-year, while its operating margin remained high at almost 23%.
"We are optimistic about our services with the rise of digital transformation and strong demand for devices, solutions and services," Mr Thaneth said. "This year, we believe there is still strong demand for the replacement of modern devices and systems. Post-pandemic, data analytics will be a top priority among leaders in business organisations."