EY Spotlight on Business, Issue 4, 2013

Issue 4, 2013

Spotlight on Business

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Think big, and different

The era of big data is upon us. With it comes the opportunity to unleash the power of analytics for smarter decision-making or investigation of anomalies. Yet technological forces that are driving big data are also creating increasingly sophisticated cyber-security threats.

CIOs are inevitably thrust into the spotlight - and so should the rest of the C-suite - simply because what can impact the profitability or reputation of the organization must concern them. Invariably, many C-suite executives are seeing shifts in their traditional roles towards greater collaboration for business agility.

Leading CFOs know this best. Those who are business partners with the supply chain function are seeing enhanced EBITDA. Indeed, rethinking the supply chain and business model is one of the ways that local SMEs can improve their working capital position permanently.

Some CFOs also oversee the company’s resource efficiency and resiliency. With rising focus on sustainability practices and their disclosures as a defining feature in integrated reporting, perhaps it is time to challenge conventional management team structures to include a Chief Resource and Energy Officer.

Very often, new thinking is game-changing. Successful entrepreneurs offer the best proof but nevertheless underline the importance of corporate support and government policies. The influence of the latter is apparent: Russia’s efforts to build a more transparent and predictable business environment are bearing returns in FDIs. Japan’s tax reform is expected to revive its ailing economy while its growth policies are driving heightened outbound investment interest in Southeast Asia - a region that is now bullish about growing through deals and IPOs going into 2014.

Whatever your big bets are in the new year, one thing is for certain: doing more of the same will only be as exciting as doing your competitors a favor.

Max Loh, EY Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore

Max Loh

Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore