Modern business depends primarily on technology, and companies are constantly looking for comprehensive solutions to their IT requirements, both in terms of human resources and management. As a result, there is a growing demand for IT professionals with the right know-how.
"The IT industry generates revenues of tens of billions of dollars and this sizable market will continue to grow," says Edmand Cheung, director, procurement and deployment services, Jardine OneSolution (HK) Limited (JOS).
"With a huge demand for procurement and deployment services in the commercial world, we are always looking for energetic professionals who are passionate about the industry," he adds.
As an integrated information technology solutions and services provider, JOS, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, assists corporate customers to streamline procurement management functions and optimise deployment and logistics support systems.
The ultimate role of Mr Cheung's unit is to provide an array of comprehensive IT and business related products and services to clients. These include SLA based procurement, deployment of computer systems and office solutions, implementation of security policies and solutions, as well as the launch of procurement systems and networking output devices.
"We offer consultancy services on strategic sourcing and technology solutions that facilitate improved efficiency and effectiveness, so that customers can allocate their resources better and focus their development efforts on strategic issues and core businesses," explains Mr Cheung.
JOS also helps clients manage serious security risks. On Friday for instance, Mr Cheung received an emergency call from a client, who subscribed to JOS' 7 X 24 maintenance service. "We immediately deployed a team to the customer's offices and sorted out the problem," he remarks, adding that he finds providing excellent service and earning his clients' trust the most satisfying aspects of his job.
As head of the business unit, Mr Cheung is an all-rounder with expertise in procurement, supply chain and operational reviews. He joined the Jardine Matheson Group in 1981 as an internal auditor, supervising compliance issues and making recommendations on best practices.
In 1992, Mr Cheung submitted some business recommendations to the group and his loyalty and dedication paid off when he was asked to cross over to JOS as financial controller to execute his ideas. He was subsequently appointed to his current post in 2003.
"My career move from finance to business was a step forwards, as I became a driver for making strategic plans and establishing best practice," he remarks. "Good business sense and an entrepreneurial spirit are essential to drive results."
By realising both cost and efficiency benefits, the unit's procurement solutions, product offerings and technological expertise add value to a growing portfolio of clients and make JOS one of the largest single-source providers of IT and office equipment and supplies in Asia.
Being technologically savvy is important for people looking to join the company's business unit, but Mr Cheung also regards having the right attitude and customer engagement skills as crucial to provide clients with value added services.
Mr Cheung's previous work experience has benefited his current position. "My background in finance enables me to quickly identify business opportunities and strategically allocate resources for optimal financial returns. I am grateful that JOS had the confidence and flexibility to move a financier like me into a business management position," he says.
Mr Cheung seeks fresh graduates as well as experienced professionals from diverse academic backgrounds to join his team. "Our unit has more than 350 staff from different professional streams, including IT, logistics, and business," he notes.
JOS offers on-the-job training and encourages staff to take professional advancement courses to stay at the forefront of advanced technological development.
Passion and hard work are among the most important personal attributes needed in the profession. "We can always help people to broaden their technical understanding through training, but it is not easy to change someone's attitude," he says, adding that he also looks for good team players since team effort is vital in providing integrated and comprehensive customer services.
A career in procurement and deployment services is exciting but not without its challenges. "Every advance in IT presents new business opportunities and challenges, so we constantly keep ourselves up to date with the evolving industry and new products," Mr Cheung stresses.
JOS has a clearly structured grading and career advancement system to help staff evaluate their strengths and responsibilities. Regular assessments and performance reviews provide opportunities for promotion to deserving staff members.
"The industry is challenging and rewarding for people who aspire to be the best," Mr Cheung concludes.