Embrace Your Inner Geek

Posted on: Tuesday, 3 November 2015 at 9:11:15 PM

Embrace Your Inner Geek

 As technology transforms and even overtakes the workforce, it does not discriminate against age, gender or location. How we control and respond to this was a key theme of the AICC(WA) Accenture Technology Series October 2015 presentation.  The Avanade presentation was sponsored by CDM Australia who was represented by General Manager Martin Eyer. 

Mr Martin Eyer, General Manager, CDM Australia


Ms Sarah Adam-Gedge, Managing Director of Avanade explored how the business world will need to adapt to the impact of technology in order to increase productivity and engage the future workforce.

 In introducing her topic, Ms Adam-Gedge posed a hypothetical of how our workplaces will look in 2030, in fifteen years from now. How the new and emerging generation will respond to yet to be identified career options, and the skill sets associated with a different style of work are topics that require our attention.

 Ms Sarah Adam-Gedge, Managing Director and Corporate Vice President, Avanade Australia

Digital disruption and Workforce of the Future is also a hot topic for Australia’s new Prime Minister. Ms Adam-Gedge noted that In his first statement after being elected Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull urged Australians to embrace disruption;

 “The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We can’t be defensive, we can’t future-proof ourselves. We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.” 

Ms Adam-Gedge discussed how the Digital Workplace is effecting organisational culture and structure and what needs to be undertaken by business leaders to accommodate imminent change. By 2020 the digital native or millennial generation are projected to be 50% of the workforce and by 2025 this number is expected to reach 75%. Avanade’s recent survey suggests that 91% of teenagers will be working in jobs that do not even exist at present. This generation have had access to social networks, multiple ‘smart’ devices and have originated the new behaviours that go along with them. “We need to be prepared for this new generation of worker.  They have new attitudes, values, and approaches to getting work done-they are the future.”

 In seeking solutions and proactive measures, Ms Adam-Gedge noted the following;


  • There is a need to expedite the development of our people through up-skilling for new roles. This will include investment in STEM education.
  • New strategies will be required in the future to continue the momentum of increasing female representation based on the changing workforce.
  • Machination, mobility and technology innovation will see our workforce and roles change.
  • Remote location access needs to be embraced and enhanced and will impact organisation culture.
  • According flexibility for technologically astute people to integrate not only their devices, but also their applications into their technology providing workplace and non-workplace convergence.
  • Maintaining a focus on soft-skills, interpersonal skills and communications, and avoiding the elimination of human contact.
  • Demonstrating increased sensitivity to communication, interpersonal and cultural factors.

 Avanade has led by example by adopting many diversity initiatives in addition to transforming into a truly digital workplace.


 Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA)

 Ms Adam-Gedge also made reference to the science and technology sectors of Israel, and their engagement in technology innovation that is inspired and led by Government investment. She noted the competitive advantages that have been accomplished by embracing this as a national business culture.

In a lighthearted conclusion to her address, Ms Adam-Gedge hypothesised on some of the more unusual career choices that may emerge for the next generation, including drone dispathers, tree jackers, extinction revivalists, robotic earthworm drivers, and industry developments for alternative currencies, data disposal, and urban on-site agriculture.

In order to realise productivity results, organisations must focus on using digital workplace technologies to create an intelligent context focussed on individual requirements. To achieve this there is a need to effectively tailor business processes and work to the context of each employee’s industry, role, location, and tasks.

Her final tip “Don’t be laggards be leaders. Embrace the change and be excited about where this great disruption is going to take us.  And, as Bernard Salt suggests, embrace your inner geek!


 From L to R: Ms Vanessa Black, Business Development Manager, Avanade, Mr John Cluer, Chief Executive, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA), Ms Sarah Adam-Gedge, Managing Director and Corporate Vice President, Avanade Australia and Mr Martin Eyer, General Manager, CDM Australia



Mr Greg Barnes, Managing Director, Click Colours International, facilitates business networking through the AICC(WA) Technology Series event.

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