The role of a government CIO has become a pivotal one in these times of rapid changes in public administration.\nLast November, Indonesian President Joko Widodo issued a decree mandating all government agencies in the country to appoint a CIO to coordinate technological agendas between different authorities.\nPublic sector IT leaders can improve government systems by implementing the right technologies and through innovative business strategies.\nHere we have gathered the profiles of five top CIOs within the government sector in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.\nYeo Beng Huay, CIO at Singapore Customs\nWhen CIO ASEAN spoke to Yeo in October 2018, she shared some of the challenges and obstacles that she faces in her role as CIO in the demanding office of the customs authority.\n\u201cWe are constantly challenged with persistent cybersecurity threats, limited resources, and the race against time to stay relevant in the fast-changing world,'' said Yeo.\nSince Yeo took her post in August 2009, she has played a vital role in helping her agency achieve its objectives through the strategic use of IT.\nThat includes the development of the last phases of the Networked Trade Platform (NTP), which will serve as the trade ecosystem that enables the secure exchange and reuse of digital data in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) across the value chain.\nYeo also spoke about cases where Singapore Customs is making use of disruptive technologies as part of its digital strategy:\n\u201cWe are exploring the use of machine learning to draw new insights; chatbots to improve our customer service; and automated tools to eliminate repetitive administrative work,\u201d she said.\n\u201cWe are also reviewing our internal applications, to move some of the applications to take advantage of the cloud technology for resiliency and scalability, while keeping the cost optimal. Traditionally, all applications used by the government are housed on government premises,\u201d the CIO added.\nTham Mei Leng, Chief Information Security Officer, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore\nAs the Singapore\u2019s Ministry\u2019s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Tham Mei Leng had to engage various stakeholders to establish the Ministry\u2019s overall ICT security strategy and ensure it aligned with agencies\u2019 business needs.\nShe was also in charge of implementing new cybersecurity measures and responsible for developing progressive and pragmatic policies to strengthen the Ministry and ensuring that the statutory boards\u2019 cybersecurity posture would facilitate digital transformation.\nMei Leng is particularly interested in using artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and machine learning in the cyber domain to find indicators of attack, zero-day exploits and abnormal behaviours.\nIn the Women in GovTech Special Report 2017, she confessed that building positive relationships and communication are some of the greatest challenges of her role.\n\u201cFor a newcomer to the Ministry, I had to quickly nurture good relationships with stakeholders \u2013 from the rank-and-file to senior management \u2013 so as to garner their support for \u2018perceived\u2019 unpopular cybersecurity measures\u201d, she explained. \u201cI am glad that everyone was very supportive in recognising the importance of cybersecurity to our daily operations.\u201d\nMohidin Mus, CIO at the Prime Minister\u2019s Office of Brunei Darussalam\nMohidin Mus\u2019 extensive career in government has included the macro-monitoring of e-government programmes in Brunei and ensuring alignment with the e-Government Strategic Plan 2009-2014.\nAn ardent advocate of e-goverment, in 2008 Mus authored a paper on the importance of its implementation in the country.\nMus holds a BTEC HND in Computer Studies from the Institut Teknologi Brunei, a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science and Information System from Salford University (UK), an MBA from the Universiti Brunei Darussalam and an MSc in Multimedia Technologies for ecommerce from the Sheffield Hallam University (UK), among other qualifications.\nHis many specialities include system analysis, GIS, web development, e-government, e-citizen and e-services.\nChan Cheow Hoe, Government CIO, Singapore\nIn a country which is heavily investing in the tech sector, Chan Cheow Hoe\u2019s role has attracted much attention.\nSince April 2014 he has been the government\u2019s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Assistant Chief Executive (government Chief Information Office) of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).\nPrior to this role, Cheow Hoe worked in the private sector, mainly on the large-scale IT systems of financial institutions and consulting firms, such as Barclays and EY. He has over two decades of experience in overseeing organisation-wide IT development and a strong track record of leading IT professionals in global companies and large corporations to deliver effective IT systems and solutions.\nToday, Cheow Hoe is responsible for overseeing Singapore\u2019s central IT systems, infrastructure, and the innovative public services on offer for citizens and businesses. He also helps in allocating the funding invested in his government\u2019s digital strategy.\n\u201cWe are exploring new ways to enhance the delivery of digital government services so they anticipate citizens\u2019 needs at key moments in their lives, such as child birth, children starting school, buying a home, etc.\u201d said Cheow How. \u201cThe government Digital Services unit is also working with other government agencies and GovTech units to build digital platforms that support Singapore\u2019s Smart Nation mission.\u201d\nDr Suhazimah Dzazali, GCIO, MAMPU, Malaysia\nDr Dzazali is the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) at the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU).\nHer role consists of acting as a change agent; strengthening ICT policy, standards and practice; encouraging ICT acculturation in the Public Sector; and innovating in electronic government applications, infrastructure and ICT security.\nIn 2017 she was part of the team that developed the plan for consolidation and optimisation of ICT services for the whole Federal government Public Sector mainly through centralising all ICT personnel under MAMPU.\nShe was also responsible for the development of the government\u2019s Service Delivery Digitalisation Plan, which covers six strategic areas, including the optimisation of the Key digital service delivery system; the implementation and integration of an inclusive and secure digital service; and the whole rebranding, publicity and promotion of the government's digital service.\nDr Dzazali is very keen on using technology and digitalisation to improve the lives of her compatriots through MAMPU.\n\u201cThe advent of cloud computing, Internet and web services together with mobile technologies has enabled MAMPU to provide key public service deliveries through multiple channels from a single gateway [www.malaysia.gov.my]\u201d, she said.\n\u201cBig data analytics has also been leveraged to provide better insights on which area of public service deliveries can be further improved from the citizen\u2019s perspective. Data analytics has gained traction with top stakeholders as a means to gain insights towards better decision making and policy formulation to improve citizen\u2019s lives,\u201d Dzazali added.\nShe thinks that the major challenge facing governments is understanding citizens\u2019 changing needs. The advent of new technologies like cloud computing, big data, 3D printing, cognitive computing and internet of things (IoT) are also playing a big role in digital transformation strategies.\n\u201cTypical government institutions are very likely to do the thinking on behalf of the citizens, yet aligning it with their static vision, missions and client charters\u201d, she said in an interview with GovInsider. \u201cAs a result, what is being delivered, is not what is expected by the citizens. Hence, investments made will not be bringing value for money.\u201d\nAre you a government CIO in Southeast Asia or you know a CIO we should include in this list? Let us know here.