Back in 2019, a friend recommended me for a weekend gig that involved attending and covering an SAP conference in Sydney. Being completely curious and interested in what this would entail, I said “yes”. So here now is the second of three articles produced for Inside SAP.
This piece was published on 27 March 2019.
The original piece can still be read on the company’s website.
Last week, many delegates attended Mastering SAP in Sydney to ask about Agility and the future of the workforce.
In this space, Toni Jackson (APAC Director, SAP Fieldglass) highlighted 3 key elements affecting the future of work, which she identified as:
- Talent and technology transformation
- The new Agile workforce
- Regulation and innovation
With 70% of business leaders believing they need a new mix of talent and skills in the future, Toni provided further information for companies and employees coming to understand and integrate agile methodologies into their workplace practices:
- Traditional employees will be joined by contractors, freelancers, and crowd-sourced talent
- Routine work will be further automated by robots and AI
- Companies will focus on truly human skills
- Careers will be built around learning rather than jobs
A few more key takeaways we highlighted from the show included the importance of bringing people along for the transformation and change journey and including the human factor in change and its cousin, security.
Alongside the changes that are happening in the workspace, technology shifts are a concern from an operational and legislative standpoint, as discussed by Grant Smith (General Manager, Energy Queensland). When we deal with issues like identity theft or cyber attacks, he explained, we don’t actually know anything about the human that’s engaged in the theft. We only experience the repercussions of their actions. He said:
“It’s one thing to identify the Human. It’s one thing to identify the Machine. It’s another thing to identify the Human behind the machine”
David Roberts (VP, Executive Advisory Council, SAP & Advisor, UnderArmour USA) discussed a paradigm shift in his presentation “The Case for a Finance-Centric Organisation.”
“We were able to have a discussion around SAP HANA for finance and what it means to shift the paradigm from the traditional way to run the business to having a finance centred business and how other companies have gone through that journey.”
During his talk “Making Digital Change Happen,” Andrew Bettenay (CIO, Endeavour Energy,) pointed out very clearly that
“Coming up with a strategy that makes sense can and must be done quickly. But do not assume that all impacted stakeholders are able to come on the journey as quickly.”
This same sentiment was shared by Mark Weatherford (USA Department of Homeland Security’s first Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity.). When asked about what was of paramount concern to him, Mark explained:
“My greatest concern honestly is the third-tier suppliers that you touch too because you really don’t know what they’re doing, what their posture looks like, and what their security practices are, and if they’re touching your environment you basically get their diseases.”
In a heavily Security and Risk oriented conference, many speakers made it clear that their are more questions than answers. What’s needed is more communication and education around security. We need to develop imaginative minds, capable of envisaging potential problems or issues before they arise, so as to catch them in advance. We need to first remember that we’re dealing with technology and the people behind it.
Want to know more about the speakers and their companies?
SAP Fieldglass: https://www.fieldglass.com/
Under Armour: https://www.underarmour.com.au/en-au/
Endeavour Energy: http://www.endeavourenergy.com.au/
Energy Queensland: https://www.energyq.com.au/