9th Digital Transformation Asia 2022: Izuddin Abdullah on dealing with digitalization challenges

The 9th Digital Transformation Asia 2022 event begins in a few days and we could not be more excited to share with you the trailblazing speakers gracing us with their knowledge and expertise on the 26th of May at InterContinental Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Izuddin Abdullah of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, is the Head of IT (TNB-ILSAS), overseeing governance, digital transformation, and information risk management as well as enabling technological operations needed in developing invaluable human capital, for the new challenging era.

Izuddin has over 20 years of extensive experience in Information Technology (IT) focusing on operations, project management, mobile solutions & strategy, cyber security, IT infrastructure management, and development of curriculum (DACUM) for IT programs.

We recently had a conversation with Izuddin about his insights on Digital Transformation, which is all about how companies can manage fast-moving change and disruption.

  1. What made you accept the speaking opportunity and what is your vision for Digital Transformation?

I love sharing and getting more insights, especially on digital business and particularly digital transformation. Business insights helped me to arrive at decisions and define strategy. Digital transformation helped build a new road map for the business. It is not just about the adoption of this technology, it is about business. It is not just about implementing more and better technologies, it is about redefining our strategy and cultural mindset to embrace change. Digitalization, for example, is not a project to be planned and managed, but it is a way of behaving and thinking. If we want to drive a digital-driven organization or digital-driven nation, a mindset shift is crucial here. A mindset shift is essential because when everything is digital, first we need to quickly improve our digital literacy, for example in building a digital nation, a digital economy is no longer an option. A digital economy will soon become the foundation of the modern economy. For the past two years of the pandemic, it has never been clearer that technology is a convenient tool for advancement and a tool of survival. It makes banking and finance business easier and more organized.

If you are not fast enough, if you are not literate enough, technology will not wait for you. Digital transformation will help us make the most of our existing technology and support functions that we need without breaking the bank. But, if legacy technology is holding us back, now is a good time to explore our options with digital.

  1. What are the core values you can share with your audience why do you have that burning passion for transformation?

For me, perseverance is important. persistent in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success, because transforming by nature will take time. We turn a meadow or a piece of land into a pasture of cows, we turn forests into neighborhoods, and caterpillars into beautiful butterflies. All we need is perseverance and determination to succeed. Once we achieve our goal, it will become a story to be told and celebrated.

  1. As a technology leader, have you had major experiences in the past that you think had a significant impact on why you became a successful tech leader in Malaysia?

In managing technological projects and operation setup, you cannot do it alone. You need the right people and the right process, and you must be equipped with the right tools and technology. Spending millions of dollars on technology will not assure you a big impact without the right mindset, attitude, and behavior. One thing is for sure, I am blessed to have had many great teams tagging along during my journey of success.

  1. What are the major challenges in digital transformation right now and how should tech leaders deal with them?

I think it’s not only in Malaysia, worldwide, digital transformation will be different from one organization to another.  It’s like something we talked about awareness of cyber security. If you are trying to improve cybersecurity awareness, you cannot apply the same practice from one successful organization to another because it could be different. As I mentioned earlier, the first thing is about mindset, then it’s about behavior and attitude toward the transformation. If your company, your staff, your people, and your management’s digital maturity is quite high, it’s going to be an easy job for you. Otherwise, you’ll need to see the best way to get your employees to buy into the idea of transformation. Basically, in Malaysia, the Philippines, Asia, or the US, I think the first thing that we need to tackle is the people. So, when everybody buys into your idea, then it will be easier for you to transform and introduce new things.

  1. What is your message to all the technology leaders in Malaysia?

First of all, do not stop learning. Learn new things every day. The knowledge we have today might get out-of-date tomorrow, or enhanced so it can be used to innovate or to develop something more meaningful. And then, collaboration, everyone needs to be involved in the transformation to be successful. Digital strategy needs commitment from the team and management to be successful.

We need to simplify things by eliminating, aggregating, integrating, and automating. We need to become champions in whatever we do. Just do it and if you fail, fail fast. If needed, celebrate the failure and then learn from it. Learn what went wrong, what should have been done differently, and then move on and move forward.

Going forward, Izuddin will be one of the panel members on the deep dive discussion entitled, “Digitally driven nation and leader in the digital economy”. For the latest insights, and exclusive events updates, be sure to check out our website.

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