Digital transformation is not just a technology issue; it is a matter of vision, strategy, organizational culture and process redesign. And with these conditions, we can say that it is a matter of people above all. And now more than ever, it is critical to successfully overcome the challenge of talent management in times of networks, connections, data, digital business models, omnichannel offerings and much more.
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Digitization As A Lever For Change
The digitization of society (economy, markets, relations between governments and citizens.) is a challenge. Business relationships are being transformed, and relationships between companies and employees (talent) are being redefined at a breakneck pace. The so-called Third and Fourth Industrial Revolutions have put concepts such as smartphones, sensors, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, or the Internet of Things in our lives. The arrival of these technological innovations is accompanied by new business models (fundamentally platform models that connect markets like never before), changes in operational processes from the automation of many parts of the value chain and a shift towards the so-called Economy of the Data.
Challenges In Digital Transformation
The digitization processes and their changes represent a great challenge for all those involved, from consumers and workers to companies and institutions. Synthetically, we can observe the following challenges for each of them:
- It is expected that the pace of technology adoption will not slow and will accelerate in many organizations. Processes such as the adoption of cloud computing, Big Data or electronic commerce (among others) continue to be aspects of high priority for the management of companies. In addition, we are witnessing a significant increase in interest in automation, process robotization, artificial intelligence or the Internet of things.
- Automation, coupled with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a “disruptive” scenario for businesses and workers. Technology adoption is transforming tasks, jobs, and skills. A high percentage of companies are ready to redefine their teams due to technological integration, and many have already opted to outsource specific business processes for specialized jobs.
- The number of jobs that will be affected in response to the changes will be high, and the new jobs are likely to outnumber the jobs that will gradually disappear, but at what rate? Increasingly redundant roles (repetitive tasks) are likely to decline, and new professions will emerge. This will be one of the significant challenges we will face as a society: ensuring that displaced jobs are widely compensated with new roles more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms.
- Skills gaps continue to be high as the skills most in demand across all jobs change rapidly. The skills that companies increasingly demand are essentially technological (data science, programming, AI.) and include critical thinking, analytical skills, or problem-solving.
- Likewise, skills around self-management, active learning, teamwork, resilience, stress tolerance, flexibility, communication, change management or adaptability continue to be more relevant every day. Companies know that a high percentage of their workers will require a skill upgrade in the short term, and most business leaders expect employees to acquire new skills.
- The future of work is here for most service sector employees who work in digital environments. Many organizations have initiated projects to rapidly digitize their work processes in this environment, including a significant expansion of remote working. In this case, the underlying challenge revolves around variables such as productivity and well-being, the need to create a sense of community, ensure adequate connection and not reduce the feeling of belonging. Using digital tools to provide collaborative work is one of the main challenges posed by the shift to remote work.
- The war for talent has already started. Many companies begin to have severe difficulties finding adequate resources in their projects, not being able to form the necessary teams of people to carry out all their tasks.
Our Process For Digitization
Having raised these challenges, what possible actions can we take to respond to the challenges? Essentially, betting on people, on talent. Knowledge is one of the essential assets of 21st-century organizations, and “human” and humanistic talent will help us take advantage of the immense capabilities of Technology.
Without intending to be exhaustive, we can work on several transformation levers (or vectors):
- Define a transformation strategy. Prepare the journey of change through a project-based approach with agile methodologies. Foster a culture of the Minimum Viable Product (validation by clients) and Design focused on human needs (human-centred Design). In short, an obsession with the customer, with a customer-centric vision.
- Bet on improving our ability to function in the digital economy and think about tools. We need “human” capacities: listening, empathy, transparency, continuous communication, honesty, tolerance, flexibility. People as protagonists of change because they are the ones who activate projects.
- Collaborate, cooperate, co-create. Promote transversal networks and new roles (capable of energizing groups, building and sharing knowledge, managing digital teams.)
- Diagonalize” information and companies: break silos and work in cross-project teams.
- Bet on organizations that make decisions from data, maximizing the available information and exploiting it.
- Combining data with context and with people’s talent brings us closer to the collective intelligence (wisdom) that technology can use as a lever for transformation. Data-driven decisions bring us closer to accurate results.
- Build a culture of continuous learning. Learn and relearn. Bring anticipation to the talent field and be able to anticipate needs. Attract talent as a strategic objective.
- Lead by example. More “flat” companies, in which the relationships are more fluid, more oriented to the agile and flexible approach of new projects ( digital leadership ).
Once the steps have been defined, it is essential to assume leadership in this digitization process. We are not waiting for change but anticipating creating a short, medium and long-term strategy that allows us to develop all the talent in our team and add more skill to continue growing in the future.
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