How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.
I have been working as an Information Technology Officer in the public service or government for the past 30 years in various ministries and agencies which involve ICT development and planning. My current organisation is the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), in the Prime Minister’s Office. It is a central agency for the modernisation and transformation of Public Service Administration.
MAMPU, as the leading agency for ICT planning and development in the public sector, is responsible for ensuring that ICT enablement initiatives are aligned with the objective of the current Malaysia Plan.
In 2015, I started working with MAMPU for the past four years in the ICT Consultancy Division. Basically, our division provides consultation and advisory services to the ministries and government agencies focusing on initially in eight areas which is System Development, Database Management, Data Centre Management, Network Management, ICT Security Management, Project Management, ICT Strategic Planning and Information Management. Mostly all the government experts and consultants are in the ICT Consultancy Division.
We are also responsible to lead and assist in the development of expertise and as a mentor in the strategic aspects in the eight domains orareas as mentioned above among the public sector ICT personnel. Based on eight areas of ICT expertise, there are 14 SME areas of expertise that are approved by the Public Service Board.
My responsibilities cover the areas of ICT Strategic Planning and as an ICT Consultant. Myself and team have been helping various ministries and government agencies in developing their ICT Strategic Plan.
By helping them and doing it in-house will save costs to the government, more than millions of Malaysian ringgit. And at the same time, coaching them will help in upskilling competency and expertise of the ICT personnel in the ministry and government agencies.
The plan also outlines strategies and programmes to guide the ministry and agency in the planning and implementation of ICT initiatives in their respective agencies. Through my experiences, a comprehensive ICT strategic plan has indirectly improved citizens’ lives and has greatly impacting the citizens especially in delivering government services to the people.
What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2019?
Apart from giving consultancy in developing the ICT Strategic Planning regarding IT schemes in Public Sector, one of the exciting things that I worked on in 2019 is my involvement in the study of the IT operating model for the Information Technology division in the ministries and proposed the new IT operating model for the ministry.
For me, this study was very challenging because it required skills related to human resource and organisation development where I have no knowledge or experience and not previously exposed to this knowledge. IT organisations need to evolve and ensure their operating models are meeting the many and varied challenges of the new technologies in the connected world.
From the literature, broadly many enterprise IT organisations have developed in response to four key drivers; simple and reliable service delivery, standardisation, lower cost base and centralisation and control. There has been a rapid evolution of these traditionally inward facing drivers on IT.
There is a new set of challenges that must be addressed and these drivers can be summarised as:
- Disruptive New Technologies: responding to new, on demand SaaS, IaaS offerings, cyber security requirements, leveraging the Internet of Things as well as integrating social and mobile technologies;
- Higher business dependency on IT: Digitisation of business process,
- Big Data and Business Intelligence driving predictive analytics and blurring any distinction between IT and the business;
Focus on Business Outcomes: Delivery of end-to-end, outcome based services driven and enabled by IT focusing on creating, building and maintaining business value;
- Speed of Delivery: Delivering better, more innovative and intuitive technology and services faster and cheaper than ever before.
Technology increasingly underpins all aspects of the business from the back-office, through operations, and into commercial and customer facing functions. IT plays a fundamental role in a business’ ability to deliver products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations. In order to do that new standard IT operating model in ministries need to be established in line with the global technology trends.
What is the best thing you have experienced in your career?
I have various experiences in different ministries pertaining to ICT, from system development, ICT project planning, project monitoring etc. and all of them are the best for me and it’s created a different experience and learning curve.
If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2019, what would it be?
Always stay healthy and have a positive mind, also have passion in whatever job you are doing, like my previous boss advised, “Just do it”. Try your best to deliver with honesty and integrity. Thinking as one team, encourage teamwork, inculcate team spirit among colleagues and peers.
What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2020?
Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, Internet of Things etc. and exploiting AI to successfully transform public services.
What are your priorities for 2020?
In the year 2020 marks the end of Vision 2020 and the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, 2016-2020 period. As a continuation, a post-2020 development plan with a clear strategic direction will be formulated to set the way forward for national development agenda over the next decade along with the implementation framework.
As we know also next year 2020 is the end year for the Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan (PSISP) 2016-2020, and MAMPU as a central agency leading in ICT development is responsible to develop the new ICT strategic plan for five years (2021-2025) to aligned with the objective of 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025).
My priorities in 2020 is the development of ICT Strategic Plan for the public sector, to transform public services to fit for purpose in the 21st century and well aligned with global emerging technology trends and new government aspirations. Focusing to enhance the end-to-end life event services and more integrated digital services for the people, citizen centric services across all the various ministries. It is about implementing the Whole of Government concept, looking deeply at the emerging technology that can be adopted in the public sector, ICT governance, policy and regulation to enhance data sharing, data analytics, reskilling and upskilling capability and competency to fit the latest global trends and thinking deeply about the role of public sector in a digital economy and digital society.
It will transform how we do our work, services, policy, legislation and regulation; how we actually operate as a civil service to be more open, transparent, engaged, responsive and resilient, and most importantly, more reflective of the values of the communities that we serve. To ensure that the ICT programmes or initiatives are well aligned to the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) and in line with Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) which aims to develop a fair and equitable distribution of economic development at all levels by 2030.
What is one challenge you would like to take on in 2020?
In five years, government services will be more intelligent and it is challenging for us to make sure the ICT strategic planning is more comprehensive and holistic towards digitalisation. To ensure that the digitalisation initiative is carried out at all levels of the government machinery, MAMPU will ensure that the implementation of all ICT projects are in accordance with PSISP and the Government Service Delivery Digitalisation Plan through the development of agencies own strategic plans.
Continuously the new PSISP will aimed at fostering integrated digital services, data driven government, optimised shared services, cyber security, collaborative and dynamic ICT governance and development of a professional and capable work force that is relevant to the world of smarter products and services.
My team challenge also will be joint collaboratively with the Strategic and Architecture Division to encourage more ministries and government agencies to embark on Enterprise Architecture (EA).
MyGovEA is a framework and methodology for guiding the public sector agencies in Malaysia in building EA practices.
MyGovEA will define a new way for public sector agencies to approach business and technology challenges. With the adoption of EA practices, agencies will establish a single view of the current business and technical environment of the organisation.
The single view will describe the inter-connectivity between businesses of the agency, processes to deliver the businesses, resources (people) responsible for performing the processes, information gathered and used or re-used, and the existing technology and infrastructure to support the delivery of the services.
What has been your fondest memory from the past year?
My family always supported me in whatever situation. I also still remember how my father, a taxi driver, always cared for me and always accompanied me from my small hometown in Johor to Kuala Lumpur for any job interview session. He was there during my first day appointed as an IT Officer 30 years ago.
My first posting was as a System Analyst is with Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia Johor. At that time, Computer Assisted Land and Survey System (CALS) is one of the Cadastral Surveying Initiatives and Johor is the first pilot state implementing CALS. The system objective is to initiate establishment of Digital Cadastral Data Base (DCDB) and to automate cadastral survey processes and also to facilitate fast production and updating of cadastral maps. That was my first experience since being appointed as an IT officer for the public sector.