Digital transformation is a reality. It has been taking steady steps, evolving, and will need relevant skillsets for the future of work.
The possible skill and talent gap in turn will need specific business transition, strategic interventions, new retention, and hiring roadmaps of talent. In a survey by Gartner, it was cited that leaders and IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies.
World Economic Forum says by 2030, globally there will be 85 million jobs in the new digital era that need to be filled with trained workforce. In revenue terms, it will generate a shortage of approximately USD $8.5 trillion between possible and realized annual revenues.
Digital transformation is re-engineering and reincarnation of sorts, for organizations. It becomes the DNA of an organization. It is a competitive advantage to improve customer and employee experience, manage a positive cost-benefit ratio, and ensure shareholder prosperity. Our biggest challenges are our much-needed improvement areas.
Some credible ways to work on digital transformation challenges could be:
Strategy & Leadership Intent
As a long-term strategy, organizations have to focus their transformation efforts in critical areas such as core/frontend business processes, customer lifecycles, and lead functions that contribute most to business returns.
New-age technologies including automation, AI, ML & Data Mining, etc. have made work more data-driven. The benefits to an organization by digital transformation are huge and recognizing its value needs a top-to-bottom, collaboration among top management collaboration, and among business verticals/functions.
Such a critical direction is to be set and monitored by the CEO. The top/leadership teams need to strongly align on commitment and actions.
A mature and progressive organization will not outsource its digital strategy execution and excellence. Being digital entails possessing an in-house and internally developed digital talent pool.
The most impactful digital talent interventions are holistic starting with hiring, an illustrative EVP, HRTech capabilities on learning, performance management, and re-skilling, etc.
Having the right people, upskilling internal resources, recruiting top talent laterally building talent communities, and fostering foundational literacy, numeracy, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education is critical to be ready for the future of work.
We also need more systematic and effective public-private partnerships for long-term positive impact on society and for corporates.
Scale is Strength
A scalable model is one that is flexible, with the ability to perform under increasing and expanding work pressure. Every incremental increase in resources and level of performance with more complex operational demands provides for increasing returns in scalable processes.
Introducing cross-functional teams bringing people from diverse backgrounds, professional expertise, and cultural exposures, to scale and support the new operating model.
A digital workplace simply means innovation everyday which implies existing skills of today will become redundant tomorrow. Upskilling and reskilling are imperative and mission-critical. Highly flexible, easily accessible, and relevant learning opportunities will close skills gaps quickly.
Leaders must build an organization with a learning mindset and encourage collaboration skills in the ecosystem. The future of work is hybrid and remote workplaces.
This requires organizations to think of and utilize an agile approach to deliver training via various channels to be able to drive deeper engagement, better collaboration, and receive favorable feedback to keep making progressive improvements.
Soft Skills are Hard to Ignore
Organizations today expect and demand people to work in teams. When in teams, in office, or managing work from remote mode, the ability to collaborate is always underrated. People need to co-think, co-create, co-design, and co-execute to build complex solutions.
With the world shrinking and work being performed anytime and anywhere (over digital channels), soft skills and neuro-diversity cannot be ignored anymore. Empathy, emotional intelligence, ability to connect with diverse colleagues across global cultures a much-needed skills now along with technical skills.
Adoption, Execution & Change Management
Adoption and scaling at the beginning of a transformation program build resilience and optimum resource utilization needed to deliver change.
Experimentation tests tacit and active knowledge base and deepens understanding of upcoming technologies, helps with gap analysis, identifies strengths, and works steadily on areas of improvement.
Adoption is now an iterative process of designing, prototyping, collecting feedback, and continuous work negotiation for the best value and full potential in changing times.
We may conclude by calling out that closing the digital skills gap is essential. However, it will take unshaken commitment, a huge investment of time, effort, intent, and great collaborative effort by everyone in an organization to succeed. The technology landscape is dynamic and evolving.
It needs continuous learning and proactive focus from leadership, middle management, and individuals of tomorrow. The culture, processes, and adaptive programs need learning, adoption, and execution capabilities to leverage available opportunities.