Cultivating strategic foundations for a data-driven IT strategy, architecture, and governance, with tech leader, Dr Asif Gill MACS CP
7th May 2021
- Dr Asif Gill MACS CP is an ACS Member and holds a position on the ACS Data Sharing Committee.
- He is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, with expertise in data-driven strategy, enterprise architecture and governance.
1. As a tech leader, what tips do you give to members interested in being more strategic in data-driven strategy, enterprise architecture and governance?
In the increasingly digitised environment, we need to identify, classify, manage, govern, and protect “Information or Data” as a real strategic asset across different business and technology domains. This will commence with the formulation of adaptive information strategy.
This is an important consideration or mindset, which will cultivate a strategic foundation for evidence or data-driven IT strategy, architecture, and governance. I believe that “Everything is Information and Information is Life”.
2. Your earlier professional experience was in agile software development, solution and information architecture and program management which provided a strong foundation for later work in data-driven strategy, enterprise architecture and governance. What advice do you give to others wishing to pivot and/or advance their career and develop professionally?
There are no short cuts for sure. Obviously, instead of switching careers all the time, it is important to have consistency and adaptability that is required to meet the changing profession needs. I gradually moved from operational levels role to more strategic one.
As a lifelong learner, along traditional academic credentials, it is important to set goals and continuously take-up the opportunities of professional learnings, certifications, and coaching in respective areas to achieve those goals. Further, mentoring and networking is an important part of the professional life for developing connections with fellow professionals for professional growth.
3. As an academic cum practitioner with 20+ years’ experience in IT across various sectors, what do you see are the common tech challenges facing businesses?
While technology is involved in every aspect of our business and life and offers great benefits. It is also full of challenges as well. For instance, businesses are facing challenges like skill shortages, cyber risk, privacy, and handling of increasing volume and diversity of data emitting from digital data ecosystems involving contemporary technologies such as Cloud, mobile, drones, and IoT devices.
4. Why did you choose to become an ACS Certified Professional? How has this supported you in your field of work?
I choose to become and ACS Certified Professional because it is one way to get professional recognition of skills and experience beyond traditional academic credentials. This is important for establishing trusted and certified profile among community of fellow professionals. This also offered opportunities of networking with other professionals for career advancement.
5. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
There are several people, both from academia and industry, who were instrumental and had a great impact on me as a professional.
I seek for opportunities of learning all the time from senior leaders and colleagues. I would like to name my earlier mentor Professor Brian-Henderson Sellers at the University of Technology Sydney. He helped my mental transition from a practitioner to an academic while me being practical and innovative deep thinker at the same time.
Further, Distinguished Professor Jie Lu and Senior IT Executive Pearl Laughton inspired me to embed empathy and good listening skills in my leadership.
Other colleagues from academia and industry also saw and encouraged my ability to influence and act in a courageous manner when needed to address conflicting issues rather avoiding them. Inspire and be inspired.