Giving Back to the Profession

When Vicki Adamson re-joined the ACS in 1999 after an absence of 10 years, she was determined to make a significant contribution to her profession.

An independent consultant specialising in high-level business and IT strategy and operational planning, Vicki first joined the Society back in the early 1970s. However, she allowed her membership to lapse when work commitments grew too demanding during the mid-1980s.

Her extensive career began with a programming position at the Post Master General's Department and has encompassed varying roles with BTR Nylex, National Mutual, two years working overseas with General Motors, and several years as an independent consultant.

After nine years in senior management positions with National Mutual, culminating in a period as Chief Information Officer during 1998, Vicki established her own consultancy, called IT Transitions.

The focus of IT Transitions is to offer corporations interim executive IT management, senior project management, leadership during significant organisational change, IS health checks and CIO coaching.

Vicki re-established her connections with the ACS in early 1999 and then nominated for the Victorian Branch Executive Committee (BEC) late last year.

After a successful appointment, she is excited about the opportunity to influence the direction of the ACS in Victoria.

"I love this profession. Being an IT professional has been such a wonderful experience for me, with lots of opportunities to travel and to continually learn, as well as tremendous financial rewards," she said.

"I like to get involved where I can make a difference, so it makes sense to join the BEC and help it move forward."

As an independent consultant, Vicki believes the ACS will be invaluable in enabling her to expand her network of contacts and stay in touch with the latest industry news and developments.

"Today's IT managers are under enormous pressure to contain costs while being seen to innovate and be leaders in the development of business strategy. The delivery of technology systems that enable the business is absolutely critical, with the focus as much on speed as on functionality," she said.

"These are tough times both for IT people at the management level and for those actually working on the systems.

"There's a great deal of mobility and the skills shortage is making it very difficult to find people with the right skills and experience.

ACS has an important role to play in keeping people informed and up to date, and also in influencing policy development within the industry.

"One of the areas where I'd like to see some work done is in encouraging more women into the industry. It is disappointing that we're really not seeing a higher percentage of women staying in the IT industry despite all the opportunities it has to offer, and the fact that this is not an industry that discriminates between men and women.

"Having said that, I do think some companies need to review their policies dealing with women returning to work after maternity leave, since short-sighted policies can become an actual block to women having children.

"Progresses in technology mean the virtual is now a reality so there should be no hindrance to women continuing to play a productive and responsible role, even at a very senior level, after having children," she said.

Affirmed by her own new involvement in the ACS, Vicki also encourages other ACS members to become more involved at various levels of the Society.

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