Large global enterprises' ambitions for expanding globally are being hindered, as approximately a third (29%) report struggles in hiring high-value knowledge workers necessary for driving their expansion plans, according to the Enterprise Horizons report by Expereo. The new findings also show that more than half of APAC CIOs believe that flexible working is essential in retaining and attracting such sought after talent.
The report's findings, based on research of over 650 CIOs in global enterprises across APAC, Europe, and the US, unearthed that the retention of skills and resources (35%) is right among the top three obstacles barring their companies' global growth. The other challenges listed were dealing with difficult security environments (35%) and complex physical and geo-political infrastructure (33%).
Eric Wong, Head of Asia Pacific at Expereo, said, “As organisations in Asia Pacific expand their footprint globally to drive growth, they must address the complexities and obstacles involved in meeting the changing needs of a global workforce. More and more people are now working from different locations, and it’s crucial for the business to have the capability to adapt the dynamics of the network quickly to cater to diverse connectivity needs.”
Despite the challenges, 44% of APAC CIOs say having a hybrid/remote policy has enabled them to hire from a wider geographical pool of talent. Remarkably, 42% of APAC CIOs say their team is now scattered across different countries/markets, a trend that surpasses the global average of 38%.
Flexible working arrangements are increasingly considered crucial by 51% of APAC CIOs as a key factor in retaining and recruiting the most skilled employees. This change in the working environment has empowered IT leaders to tap into a global pool of workers to find the best talent, which might explain why nearly a third of APAC CIOs (32%) have hired someone they have never met in person.
But, hybrid working also has associated challenges. According to the research, for 73% of businesses in APAC, having employees work three days or less in the office has become the norm. Yet, 29% of APAC CIOs anticipate an increase in the number of days they expect people to work from the office, with productivity concerns and home connectivity issues being major factors affecting this belief.
The shift towards more flexible working arrangements and accessing better skilled employees from diverse locations is creating challenges of its own. For many APAC CIOs, maintaining application performance across various locations (43%) and providing 24/7 support across multiple time zones (34%) is putting additional strain on their teams.
Even so, Eric Wong is adamant that the right technology can overcome these issues, concluding, “The key to doing so is having the right technology in place to facilitate connectivity and collaboration in a remote working environment. Ultimately, hybrid working is all about staying connected and enabling interaction with colleagues and customers, regardless of where you are in the world.”