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Blog |  8 min read

Serving Up A Taste Of Disruption

Disruption stops for no one. Businesses are being confronted with the reality that tomorrow's customers, markets and business models will be very different from today's and this was the central theme for our recent Certus Accelerate event.

Many big businesses are proclaiming their intent to “disrupt like a start-up” and some are taking it further with seed funds, incubators, and employee stints in co-working hubs. Certus Accelerate laid out a blueprint for what disrupting like a start-up really means and demonstrated how traditional organisations really do it.

The day kicked off with a very unlikely technology speaker in Simon Gault, who was known to most as one of the hosts of Masterchef, but who also has a passion for technology and health.

Simon demonstrated how IBM's Chef Watson is blurring the lines between human creativity and cognitive computing. Until recently, something as ‘human’ and creative as taste, had been beyond the capabilities of a technology. However, Simon was able to harness IBM Watson’s analytical approach creativity to help him shape a delicious and very different menu. 

“I thought, ‘working with a computer, this is a little interesting’. But Watson’s won Jeopardy!, it’s a pretty clever rooster,” remarked Gault.

“You start throwing ingredients at it and its depth of knowledge is just so much bigger than what any chef can keep in their brain.

So it starts throwing things at you that it understands the compounds and structures of, whether it’s bee pollen, turmeric, lime juice, and it knows whether it’s going to be a marriage made in heaven.”

Some standouts from the menus included a turmeric and lime cayenne shot and a nitro bergamot tea & blood orange sorbet with white truffle salt sherbert.


But aside from bringing all-new creations to life and rewriting the cooking rulebook, Chef Watson also has far-reaching implications in redefining our relationship with food.

People with food allergies or dietary restrictions can use the technology to create custom recipes that are better suited to meet their health needs. It can even help us remove things such as unseen sugars, salts or harmful fats to improve the overall health of our community.  With a growing problem of obesity in most Western nations, this technology could prove invaluable.    

It can also be applied to help reduce food waste by creating dishes around ingredients that might have otherwise remained unused. Avoiding food wastage is a big deal, it’s estimated New Zealand throws away about $870 million worth of food each year.

Just another example of the disruption taking place in unexpected places.

Although Simon was the star of the show, the day was packed with a host of industry experts who led some fascinating discussions on the market forces, technologies, and operational models that will be the real disrupters over the next five years.

The event ran streams addressing disruption across different areas of business and some of the highlights included:

Asset-Intensive Industries

  • Learning how effective information management can arm asset-intensive organisations to create a competitive advantage with their data instead of using it to simply prove compliance.

  • Moving from reactionary to predictive when it comes to analytics and asset maintenance in order to enhance your overall operational excellence.

Customer-Focused Analytics and Design

  • Technology has opened up new avenues for companies to engage and delight their users, with methods that enable delivering tailored offerings in a way that’s still profitable.

  • Combining a deep data analytics capability with User Experience Design can deliver a truly immersive and personalised experience that will deliver lasting competitive advantage to your business.


Here’s what some attendees had to say:

 “Very good, very worthwhile, bringing the new disruptive pitch into the legacy of organisation, of on-premise, of leadership & culture is an essential mission. Should also be a revenue opportunity!”

“Some great takeaways here, we definitely need to really focus on the user experience and walking in our clients’ or customers’ shoes.”

“The sessions were lively and tactile. Telling the stories around digital disruption, seeing it in action (i.e. Simon and Chef Watson) makes it memorable. Well done Certus! A unique and edgy session. Thank you!”

Certus Accelerate is coming to Melbourne on September 13 and Sydney on September 15, register your interest here. 

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