Growth in Asia Presents Opportunities
Read the full Spring 2012 issue.
Q&A with Andrew Anker
Serving the needs of the world’s largest and fastest developing region requires an appreciation for its vastness, diversity and complexity. Recently appointed president of CSC Group Operations in Asia, Andrew Anker is well suited to the task.
Anker has served CSC in many capacities over the past 16 years. Most recently, Anker served as vice president of Account Management and Operations for the CSC Managed Services Sector, as well as country representative for CSC in Hong Kong. He holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Anker marvels at the multiplicity of cultures and natural beauty that make Asia such a wonder. He enjoys experiencing the region’s traditions and attractions, ancient and modern.
His enthusiasm is evident as he speaks to CSC.com about the challenges and opportunities to be found in an area that holds such a rich heritage and exciting future.
You were recently named president of Asia operations. What are your key priorities in Asia?
That’s a tough question to answer. We serve 13 different countries with vast differences in cultures and economies. At the same time, markets in Asia are shifting at an accelerating pace in response to cloud-based technologies and Everythingas- a-Service models.
One priority is our customers — growing our customer engagements and satisfaction. We have terrific projects and great clients, and we want to focus on delighting them in every experience they have with CSC across Asia.
Another element of our strategy is staff development. We have about 5,500 members in our Asian business units, from Japan to India and China to Indonesia. Our business and our offerings will continue to evolve as new technologies emerge and new opportunities surface. We want to take our people on that journey.
The third element of our strategy is to bring to Asia the bestof- breed solutions we have developed around the world. The scale of our achievements in other countries sets us apart in the market and will contribute to our growth.
You have been working in Asia during this time of wholesale transformation in economic development and technology adoption. What are the most significant technology trends unfolding in the region now and over the next few years?
Virtualization is a top agenda item for companies across Asia. Adoption rates in Japan and Indonesia are especially high. Organizations that started the virtualization process are accelerating their efforts or taking the next step by moving to cloud technologies and as-a-service models. That will continue through the next year.
In China, a major driver for virtual desktop technologies involves control and compliance. I expect this technology to move across Asia.
Platforms for delivering services to any device, anywhere, any time will continue to grow, with a twist. Consumers in emerging economies in Asia have access to devices and services with widely different levels of capability. Companies serving those clients must deliver services to a wide spectrum of devices — from older cell phones to tablets and smartphones. It’s a uniquely complex environment.
Much attention has been focused on China’s business potential over the past several years. Are other Asian countries poised for similar growth?
We expect to see a growing degree of innovative products and services originating in domestic Asian markets that will be exported to the rest of the world. That’s quite exciting.
The world’s perception of China changes more often than China itself. We have seen the country become more commercially focused. There has been a marked growth in the wealth of individuals. Companies have grown dramatically, finding success at home and abroad. But fundamentally, China is still the same country.
More broadly, the world has perceived Asia as the factory for the rest of the world. They don’t realize the region has become a major consumer. You can visit a city once and return six months later to find the skyline has changed. Exponential growth of the middle class in many countries is driving high growth in consumer demand.
Large companies that have grown by serving the domestic market are now looking for new efficiencies, expressing a desire to bring in best practices from around the world. And some of these companies — measured by employee base — are truly huge. Some have more than a million employees.
Innovation is coming out of Asia in growing proportions. Singapore has long focused on financial services, but more recent investments in biotechnology are beginning to show results. Malaysia offers a multitude of innovative offshore capabilities. India is a leader in new ideas in software and analytics. We’re seeing a lot of bright analytics specialists and data scientists coming out of the Philippines.
As an established presence in Asia, what advantage does CSC hold as it continues to brand, market and sell its services to end users in this burgeoning market?
I think the investments we’ve made over the years will serve us in a couple of ways.
If we look at the as-a-service economy, cloud technologies and the like, our competitors are different from traditional large-scale systems integration companies. We’re matching up against newer competitors who are spread thinly across Asia, so our presence and history in the region are an advantage.
For example, in Vietnam we have 600 staff members delivering services to our clients around the world in an offshore sourcing center. We have more than 2,000 people in Malaysia, which is an important hub for us. We have a presence in almost every country in the region and an ability to deliver services anywhere.
Our position is even more important when you look at the scale of these companies and their ambitions. As these companies go global and expand beyond their own shores, it represents a big opportunity for companies such as CSC — a company with a global footprint, serving organizations in a consistent, predictable manner around the world.
Our expertise from large-scale system integration in federal practices, our outsourcing practices: All of these experiences are applicable in these markets.
The real key for us is to be involved early, helping these companies expand their operations around the world. What they expect to achieve is phenomenal, and a long-term relationship with them would ensure that we grow with them.
These are just a few of the factors working together that make Asia an exciting place to build business solutions and value. Growth can be found everywhere, and I am thrilled to be part of it.