Rozana Ruslia Visionary Leader & Strategist Helping Firms Adopt Digitalization & Sustainability

Rozana Ruslia Visionary Leader & Strategist Helping Firms Adopt Digitalization & Sustainability

Rozana Rusli, Global Chief Information Officer

Rozana Rusli

Global Chief Information Officer

The success of a venture largely depends on its adaptability to the ever-evolving market trends as well as technology. The current industry scenario tends to shift big time towards digitalization thanks to the rising demand for automation and other technologies in the workplace. Being a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of experience in various sectors such as IT & Digital Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, and Cyber Security & Governance, RozanaRusli is a strong advocate of organizations opting for digitalization as well as sustainability for a secure and steady future. Presently working as the Group Chief Information Officer at MISC Berhad Group, a Malaysia-based world leader in international energy-related maritime solutions and services, she is taking care of IT Strategy, Risk Management as well as Enterprise Architecture while leading the firm in its rapid adoption of digitalization.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights ASIA, Rozana shares her early education and professional experience, some of the major challenges faced by her while helping firms in their digital transformation as well as her leadership approach, and much more.

Throw some light on your educational background and professional experience. What inspired you to venture into the IT and Digitization domain and what drives you today? I have more than 30 years of professional experience in sectors such as Digital Strategy & Transformation as well as governance management. Over the years, I have earned ample experience implementing strategies and management in many large as well as leading enterprises from the financial services sector, healthcare telecommunication, and oil & gas sectors. I did my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science & Mathematics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the United States, and have also attended Management Training & Leadership programs by IMD and INSEAD. Previously I have served as the Director in some of the leading companies in the food & restaurant and property industry. IT is more than just a tool and it is changing lives these days.

IT has not only made our life easier, but also has transformed our society to be more inclusive, progressive, and innovative. Making IT as well as digitalization accessible and affordable for everyone is what drives me.

What are some of the most challenging projects that you have undertaken over the years? What were the lessons you inculcated from those challenges which are helping you in your current role?

There have been many challenges that I have faced throughout the whole journey. One of the most challenging projects that I have undertaken was the Cybersecurity and Governance Project, for conducting a feasibility study of Cybersecurity standards at the national level. That project was planned to improve the level of cybersecurity management within the critical sectors. The project required conducting a very extensive research and benchmark study of how cybersecurity standards compliance is implemented in other countries and to implement the same locally. We also had to engage with all the leaders in the critical sectors and influence them in some of the decision-making processes.

Another challenging project has been working on a digital transformation project where the firm shifted its overall real estate business to premium services in the digital space. So instead of them just selling homes, we wanted them to start looking at selling smart homes, which would enable them to provide more sustainable services with a sustainable income. The overall project was challenging because it required a lot of engagement as well as a new operating model for the business to include sustainable service as one of the channels of generating income. Of course, it requires them to shift from what they were doing then and how they look at the new business now providing together with digital services. Influencing the decision makers in the company was both important and challenging because we were kind of shifting their entire core business to move into the digital space and it took a series of engagements for them to be clear about how the whole process is going to help them take the company to the next level, which is a new growth area.

IT has not only made our life easier, but also has transformed our society to be more inclusive, progressive, and innovative

Going forward, what are the changes in market behavior that you anticipate, and what are the opportunities that you foresee in the Maritime transportation &  logistics sector?

Being a part of the Oil & Gas ecosystem that comprises energy shipping and operating offshore and floating solution, I can see two distinct technical revolutions taking place in this sector. The first one is about the rapid adoption of the working-from-home hybrid model as well as the integration of automation as well as AI and Machine Learning. The second technological revolution type is in form of the next wave of technologies such as distributed cloud, multi-X development platform, and digital twin, which will become more widespread. Making everyone aware of as well as adopting these technologies by investing in talents as well as technologies is going to be a huge challenge.

Throw some light on your leadership approach and the kinds of principles that you are guided by. What advice would you give to aspiring leaders in the Maritime transportation & Logistic domain?

I closely follow some of the leadership principles by Simon Sinek, which promote that leadership is about managing the people around you while empowering them and taking care of them. Leadership is not about being interesting but about being interested. It's not about being in charge but about taking care of those in your charge. So, that's the leadership mantra I follow closely.

The advice I would like to give to aspiring leaders is to make themselves relevant by staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies in the market, which would require them to upskill themselves continuously in their domain area.



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