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Faces of SUSS #24: Hardi Ismail

I currently lead the digitalization and digital transformation efforts for Singapore’s heritage sector within the public service focusing on ICT strategy, policy development, operations management, and tech product and services delivery across 10 museums and heritage institutions. 

We have been focussed on providing our visitors to our museums and heritage institutions a seamless end-to-end immersive physical and digital “phygital” experience before they arrive, whilst visiting and after they leave, continually keeping constant digital touch with them throughout ensuring “stickiness” and visitor retention. Our goals were to progressively increase our reach and bring Singapore’s heritage to not just locals but potential overseas visitors alike beyond borders.

When I was previously under the Ministry of National Development (Municipal Services Office),  I undertook a Master’s Programme in Human Capital Management, believing that this would allow me to pick up great skillsets and first-hand knowledge in building, nurturing, and managing high performance teams suited within a startup or newly established organisation. The things I’ve learnt during the programme has been brought into my current role at National Heritage Board (NHB).I was able to quickly jump start NHB’s digitalisation and transformation journey through the formation of a cross functional Digital+ committee. By combining my Division’s digitalisation, transformation & IT operational capabilities with proven OD and Innovation approaches, Digital+ allows me to quickly breach the psychological gap at both the working, senior stakeholder and board levels to secure buy-in and endorsements as we make progressive improvements internally in our business operations to incorporate digital meaningfully in everyone’s daily work.

I believe that innovation is one important ingredient to your own success. Lifelong learning poses as a good opportunity to improve myself further in staying relevant, having to acquire new unique skillsets and positively contributing to Singapore’s success, especially within the heritage sector. In reciprocal, I see myself complementing NHB’s efforts as a tech ambassador to promote “phygital”, extending to other overseas governments who are keen to emulate Singapore’s success through continual digital capability development and investment in having a digitally savvy workforce as the new norm supported by a comprehensive capability development roadmap to educate and facilitate the acquisition of digital skillsets highly needed for sectorial growth, supported by committed and continued investments in innovation and experimentation.

Hardi Ismail
Master of Human Capital Management
Class of 2016

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