Posted by: Neil Galliford, Regional Director, Transaction Management, Asia Pacific
It was a beautiful day to drive down to Microsoft’s office in Cyberport for the Hong Kong Discovery Forum. Cyberport is an office, hotel, retail and residential campus situated on the waterfront at Pokfulam, a 20 minute drive out of Central. It has a fantastic view overlooking the Lamma channel; the campus feel is rare in Hong Kong.
The first topic on everyone’s mind was developing workplace and culture to attract and support Gen Y workers. This was identified as a particular challenge for the financial services sector, which is constrained by regulators. The consensus was that CRE executives are being pushed to provide a vision for ‘what next’ after mobility – and right now, they don’t know what that looks like. Driving enduring change is something that goes beyond the physical space. It is an area where CRE needs to engage with other support functions, such as HR, which means new skills will be needed. We address some of these issues in our recent white paper, Driving successful workplace change in Asia.
We then heard from Marianne Rathje, the lead for implementing Microsoft’s new Integrator Model in Asia Pacific. Marianne’s presentation sparked a lot of debate (over the course of 1.5 hours Marianne wasn’t able to get beyond slide 4…) as the audience probed how the model works and how it overcomes issues such as:
- Conflicts of interest and confidentiality
- Fostering innovation
- Transition times
- Maintaining future flexibility and service provider choice
- Cost and efficiency
The industry is watching with great interest to see what outcomes the Integrator Model will achieve for Microsoft. In the meantime, the one thing we can be sure of is that we are facing significant changes ahead. Perhaps we should make the most of any time we get to sit back and enjoy the view!