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DTA Exclusive Interview Series: Five for Five With the CIO of Telekom Malaysia
August 6, 2021 News


The CxO Five for Five is Disruptive Tech Asean’s (DTA) exclusive interview series where we get Chief Executives from around the ASEAN region to answer rapid-fire questions on everything technology-related.

This week, we interview M. Umapathy Sivan, who is currently the Chief Information Officer of Telekom Malaysia, where he is tasked to create a modern, effective Information Technology (IT) strategy for Malaysia’s leading telecommunications company.

He has over 12 years of extensive and diversified experience in managing and leading a variety of IT projects and organisations. He is an innovator – driven to improve business results through new ideas, technologies and best practices – courageous, results-oriented leader, inspirer, mentor and coach who energises his teams, creates collaboration and motivates.

Here are his takes on the questions.

  1. (Crystal Ball) – Top technology that you think will transform your business in the coming years? Why?

The top technologies that will transform the business are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), microservices applications, containerisation, software-defined everything, service orchestration and 5G.

All the above technologies will hyper-personalise, hyper-automate, simplify the technology implementation, change the playing field for service providers and elevate capabilities of IT & digital in bringing more value to the business.

  1. (Out to pasture) – Technology that you think you will phase out of your business? Why?

Technologies that we will eventually phase out will be the likes of mainframe, appliance-based solution, Unix ecosystem, .NET framework and monolithic applications development.

These technologies will be decommissioned due to the emerging solutions which support open framework, cloud-native and digital architecture.

  1. (Chatter Box) – Best Collaboration Tool? Why?

All-in-one tools within the same platform such as MS Office 365 suite with all collaboration capabilities built-in like Collaborative and DevOps (etc.) that will integrate with other platforms such as email, calendar and document management.

These tools enable remote working capabilities during this pandemic which is essential for all businesses.

  1. (Be Safe) – Biggest Cyber Security Concern? Why?

The biggest challenge for any digital organisation is the governance of information and cybersecurity. Enabling the framework and platform to support the surveillance and detection or control of access and privileges is a must.

Each individual user can play their part in ensuring their ID and system/host under their purview to comply with the best practices and policies pertaining to cybersecurity.

  1. (When I grow up) – If you hadn’t gone into Tech – what would you do instead?

My dream is to work for NASA and be a space-age worker. One of my biggest mentor is Buzz Aldrin and I am always fascinated with the primordial of SPACE. I still wish we can travel to outer SPACE in my lifetime!