9th Digital Transformation Asia 2022: Ts. Dr. Nurhizam Safie on the role of Academia in Digital Transformation

One of our featured speakers at the 9th Digital Transformation Asia 2022 is Ts. Dr. Nurhizam Safie. He is the Deputy Dean (Networking and  Alumni) of the Faculty of Information Science & Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Before this position, he was attached to the United Nations University (unu.edu), a United Nations academic arm, as a Research Fellow. His research and industrial consultancy focus on the following domain: Public Sector Enterprise Architecture, Cloud-based e-learning, and Project Management. 

He served on the national and international advisory panel, expert working group and technical committee, and some of the Malaysian ministries and agencies. In his 26 odd years of experience, he has worked in various technical and management positions such as IT service delivery manager, senior project manager, and enterprise architect for public and private IT systems projects. 

He is the Executive Chairman of the Digital Transformation Strategic Organization (DxSO), an NGO which promotes digital transformation in Malaysian society. 

Nurhizam Safie received his Ph.D. in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) in 2010. Master of Information Technology from UKM in 1999, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Anglia Ruskin University, in the United Kingdom in 2019, and a bachelor’s degree in 1997 from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. 

If his background hasn’t interested you already, we had the chance to do a quick Q&A with him to learn more about the academe’s role in digital transformation, touching on some timely questions. That piece follows below;

Being involved in agile project management practices since 2010. Nurhizam Safie enjoys teaching Project Management at the Master level, using the agile approach over the traditional method or combining them.

  1. Can you tell us more about the agile project management approach over the traditional one? 

When we are talking about agile project management, it is about the process. Normally, when we talk about information systems, information technology, or digital transformation, it will consist of three elements; the technology itself, the process, and people. Without these three, we could not achieve the objective to complete the project. In my case, I’m using agile project management. While we are talking about agile, let’s talk about the two concepts in project management which are “agile” and “waterfall”. Agile can be defined as a mindset for approaching projects which provide flexibility, while Waterfall offers a pre-defined framework to follow that is sequential in nature.

They say that an agile methodology is a superior choice but it really depends on the size, nature, or mode of the project whether you’ll be using agile methods or not.

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

Aside from wanting to share the role of digital transformation, I would like to deliver an easy understanding of its concept. I don’t want people to think digital is just about technology, computer programming, or artificial intelligence. Sometimes, we forget all the other stuff that comes with it. Digital transformations are more than just a technology change–it still fundamentally comes down to the “man behind the curtain.” The focus needs to be on people and the behaviors behind the technology. I have to say, my vision is to change our behavior and attitude towards digital transformation.

  1. How relevant is it for the academe industry in Malaysia to participate in this kind of event? 

Academics or universities are institutions for knowledge. For me, the role of the academic industry, the government, and society are interrelated. The Quadruple Helix Model of innovation recognizes four major actors in the innovation system: science, policy, industry, and society. In keeping with this model, more and more governments are prioritizing greater public involvement in innovation processes. I believe that the academe should work better with the government, industry, and others in offering innovative solutions that benefit our society, economy, and environment.

  1. What is your message to all the tech leaders in the country?

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. We need to spend, we need to do the forecast and evaluate. These technologies will help increase productivity and will maximize the profit of an organization. We cannot just wait and see other countries to be in front of us. We must unfold a new chapter in the explorations of those new technologies.

Want to learn more? Join us at the 9th Digital Transformation Asia!

Ts. Dr. Nurhizam Safie will be the panel chair at the 9th Digital Transformation Asia 2022 taking place on May 26, 2022, at Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The session will be about prioritizing digital infrastructure and ecosystem to drive the business sector to compete in the global arena.

Be sure to review the agenda and register for the event to get inside perspectives and lessons from some of the industry’s leading companies and organizations. 

Don’t miss out on attending this event – secure your seat now! 

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