Why you need to build digital skills to deliver what your business can do best

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While the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, it has also brought into focus the need to rebuild and acquire digital skills to help deliver what the business can do best, explains Ranjith Kaippada, Managing Director at Cloud Box Technologies.

Ranjith Kaippada, Managing Director at Cloud Box Technologies

Availability of high-level technology skills whether for hardware or software have always experienced a mismatch between demand and supply. But with the pandemic accelerating digital transformation to become a priority for all businesses and all industries, the pressure on availability of skills, whether for technology or for digital has also been accelerated. 

This is making the human resources department along with top executives relook at the complete gamut of skills. These skills are required to take an organization over the peak of transformation challenges, and into the post-pandemic world and beyond.

Those organizations that are able to identify the new set of skills required, and actively develop them internally or source them externally, across their workforces, will be able to better manage digital transformation. With this capability, they will pull ahead of other competitors and deliver better value to both shareholder and customers.

The pandemic while accelerating digital transformation, has also significantly altered the task of identifying and acquiring the skills required to manage digital transformation. 

Here are some of the principal deviations:

  1. Digital skills are no longer technology skills

The skills required to see an organization through the dual challenges of digital transformation and remote workforce management are no longer just IT skills. Along with IT, they are also a blend of the organization’s business, its various departmental functions, and a range of soft skills. According to a survey by Gartner TalentNeuron, digital leaders like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, look for a blend of computer science, engineering, technology infrastructure, security, amongst others.      

  1. What skills does your business need

Most organizations are still struggling to identify what skills they require, and at what level. The new skills are required to manage business in the post-pandemic era, as well as to cope with the accelerated pace of digital transformation. Adding pressure to this mismatch between supply and demand is the understanding that digital skills are now getting integrated into almost every job role. 

According to a recent independent survey by TalentNeuron, inability to identify the skills required inside an organization to lead transformation is amongst the top inhibitors for digital transformation.

  1. How digital impacts business

Industry experts estimate that anything digital has been accelerated five years forward by the pandemic. How organizations need to cope with these changes has now created a formidable jigsaw puzzle. Some of the big missing pieces are the skills required to map the business impact from digital technologies. As well as the business skills required to reengineer the business to cope with these digital changes. 

If the jigsaw puzzle is not solved, and the right skills not identified and recruited, it is unlikely that the organization will be able to cope with the transformation required.  

  1. Focusing on the end game

Every organization is being impacted by digital transformation. The end game comes into sight, when a business can focus on what value they plan to deliver through digital transformation. 

Senior executives will need to reskill themselves to understand what digital transformation means for their business, and how they are going to deliver the new set of values that works best for their business.    

  1. Legacy HR cannot manage agile workforces

Remote working has demonstrated very well, that how work gets completed and how work is designed to be completed can deviate. Under digital transformation the nature of a workflow changes continuously and deviates from the planned one as well. 

Rigid and inflexible rules of working, that are part of legacy human resource practices do not work well in an agile organization that is transforming around digital technology platforms. This is becoming more and more visible in the post pandemic world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  1. Arrival of the robot worker

Lastly, organizations need to relook at all their employee job roles in terms of them being replaced by automation and artificial intelligence. If a role is being impacted, organizations do not need to eliminate the role entirely. Relook at how that role can deliver the next level of value for the internal or external customer. 

With a balanced outlook towards improvement and innovation for the customer, most organizations can move to the next level of workforce agility, distancing themselves from outdated skills and practices.