Digital Transformation

SEA Summit Day 2 Focuses on Tech Leadership, Resilience

Key Takeaways From Day 2 of ISMG's Southeast Asia Cybersecurity Summit
SEA Summit Day 2 Focuses on Tech Leadership, Resilience
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The second day of ISMG's Southeast Asia Summit, organized by Information Security Media Group, brought together industry leaders to discuss the latest digital transformation trends and challenges in the region. The agenda included discussions on technology leadership, data privacy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and enterprise resilience.

See Also: Rethinking Browser Security: From Risk to Asset

On the first day of the summit, security leaders examined third-party supplier risks and IoT risks through the lens of generative AI.

AI for Innovation

Arlene Romasanta, director IV at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines, opened the summit with her session, "The Upcoming Age: AI's Influence on Technology Innovation."

She emphasized the transformative power of AI in business innovation and operation while addressing challenges that IT leaders face when implementing AI-driven solutions. She also highlighted the ethical concerns of AI, including its use in creating deepfakes and spreading false information, and discussed the Philippines' national AI strategy framework.

"There are also biases [associated with AI use]. The Philippines has a national AI strategy framework, and we are bound to follow and comply with this framework. Apart from that, we have set some internal guidelines in terms of sharing information," Romasanta said.

CEO Priorities

Delivering the CEO Keynote, titled "CEO Priorities in 2024: Impact and Strategies for CIOs," Zaved Akhtar, chairman and managing director, Unilever Bangladesh, offered insights into aligning technology and digital strategies with the broader corporate objectives. He also spoke about how businesses should be adopting AI in these volatile and uncertain times.

"We have been experimenting with generative AI mainly for creative designs, and the lead time for ideas and creativity has reduced. But it is premature for us to use it in our business applications," Akhtar said.

The session also touched upon the importance of CIO preparedness to drive technological transformations aligned with CEO priorities.

Charter for Tech Leaders

Ali Abdulla Alsadadi, CIO, Ministry of Oil and Environment, Kingdom of Bahrain, discussed the potential of emerging technologies to elevate customer experiences, streamline business operations and maintain a competitive edge.

In his session titled, "Charter for CIOs and Technology Executives in 2024: The Way Forward in Expanding Digital Delivery", Alsadadi highlighted the significant role of digital transformation in global digital delivery.

"The global digital transformation market is poised for significant growth, with a valuation of $2.27 trillion in 2023, projected to reach $12.35 trillion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 20.9% during the forecasted period 2024 to 2032," he said.

He stressed on the importance of robust change management programs to overcome digital transformation challenges, advising CIOs to build effective communication, collaboration, encryption, and rigorous testing and evaluation.

"We need to have a robust change management or culture program to overcome the challenges that come in the way of digital transformation delivery," Alsadadi said.

Managing Resilience

In a panel discussion titled "Making of a Resilient Enterprise: How Will CIOs Raise the Bar?" the panelists emphasized on the role of CIOs in building and leading resilient organizations.

Ruwanthi Fernando, chief information and process officer, Hela Clothing, said resilience concerns people, process and technology.

"It is people first. When you want to be resilient in an adverse situation, the people need to be ready for the change. How do we manage our people in a global environment, within the technology department as well as the rest of the business? How do they react to a change?" Fernando said.

She addressed the challenge of moving from older systems to a more flexible and newer system and yet provide interoperability.

"One of the biggest challenges for CIOs is managing data and ensuring that it is available as soon as possible. It's also about privacy and compliance with laws such as the GDPR," Fernando said.

Speaking about technology innovation, Atif Najam, CIO, Gatron (Industries) Ltd. (Gatro-nova Group) said, "Before adopting the technology you should first identify the main processes that you want to cover with the technology. The technology may vary based on the ground realities of the company and the environment that it is playing in."

The panelists also agreed that data security skill sets will be the fulcrum of any resilience strategy and that it is crucial to have the right amount of training and awareness within the organization.

About the Author

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira

Sr. Director - Editorial, ISMG

Pereira has nearly three decades of journalism experience. He is the former editor of CHIP, InformationWeek and CISO MAG. He has also written for The Times of India and The Indian Express.

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