Friday Five: CA’s Brenton Smith


Every Friday we’ll profile a prominent figure from Australia’s IT, telecommunications or video gaming industries in the Friday Five.

Brenton Smith is currently the vice president and area manager for CA Australia & New Zealand, but he wasn’t always. In this week’s Friday Five, we find out what life was like in his home town of Renmark, SA, and why his biggest inspiration is a former SAP chief.

1. What was your first job ever?

My first job ever was selling newspapers in my country town of Renmark. I used to ride my bike everywhere to sell the newspapers around the town and in the local pubs. I had to go round with a bag yelling, ‘news, news!’ and then people would give me 20c for the newspaper … and for me a tip! My first real job was as a bank teller in the State Bank of South Australia, Renmark.

2. What do you like most about working in the IT Industry?

I love the dynamics and the ever-changing nature of the IT industry. It is never boring; it is always exciting and interesting. I’ve loved it from the first minute I joined, all the way through. At the moment it’s changing every two years. Where was cloud two years ago for instance? To me it’s just the dynamism of it.

3. What’s your hobby?

I have a couple of hobbies: Golf — I am a corporate golfer, but hope to get better and road cycling which I try to go as often as I can. I either do what they call, criterion racing, at various tracks or social riding; my favourite at the moment is from Darling Point to La Perouse.

4. Where do you think the Australian IT industry will be in five years?

The Australian IT industry tends to follow the rest of the world. We are not very unique. Five years is just about impossible to predict but in the next two years i think there will be a big shift towards cloud computing and software-as-a-service. There’s no doubt that that momentum is unstoppable. But the real local change in the industry will come about as a result of the NBN; just general network speed and storage space. The rate of change and increase in storage capacity and speed of networks and speed of processing is just mind-blowing.

5. Who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?

The biggest influence in my career is Les Hayman, SAP Ambassador and former president and CEO for SAP in the Asia-Pacific region. The inspiration that he provided me was leadership through motivation. He is a brilliant speaker and it has always been apparent to me that he gained huge respect, following and rapid progression through the ranks at SAP partly as a result of this. It’s something that I definitely aspire to.

Image credit: CA