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Human assets the key to a successful digital transformation

18 Jan 2019
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Constant innovation has seen IT and the role of employees within it change repetitively in recent years.

Examples of recent trends include the increasing popularity (and feasibility) of remote working, automation replacing repetitive tasks, and the constant need for new skills in order to keep up with the pace of change.

"An important part of the process is evaluating employees' skillsets to identify where there might be a gap. This skills gap could hinder the adoption of new technology, so organisations must prepare the workforce for change. Staff need to be supported through the transition, including the formation of new roles and the dissolution or change of others,” says Y Soft co-founder and CIO Martin de Martini.

"Change is not always welcomed by everyone, and there may be some resistance. Retaining and recruiting highly-skilled staff members may become difficult as organisations compete for the best talent. The available workforce will also evolve as the size, age and distribution of the population changes; factors such as longer life spans, urban sprawl, and older retirement ages all play a part." 

According to de Martini, there are several ways in which an organisation can fully support its workforce through its digital transformation journey, of which he has provided five:

1: Start at the top: Equipping senior-level executive with the skills needed to develop digitally will inspire the rest of the organisation to follow their lead.

2. Invest in employees: Everything costs money, and de Martini says organisations can’t be shy in providing employees with the resources and opportunities needed to develop.

3. Don’t ignore soft skills: While it’s important to have a balance technical and soft skills, de Martini asserts it is the soft skills that fuel digital transformation, as some of the most valuable assets in a transition journey are vision, collaboration, forward-thinking, and organisational skills. 

4. One size does not fit all: From micro-learning through to intensive boot-camp sessions, training should focus on nurturing the agility, re-skilling, and adaptability of employees, as they all learn in different ways.

5. Be ‘attractive’: It’s vital for organisations to entice and retain new and skilled employees by empowering and incentivising operations as well creating modern workspaces to stimulate collaboration and knowledge sharing.

"To fully embrace digital transformation, organisations must find ways to train and motivate teams, while retaining their skilled workforce against the backdrop of change and uncertainty. The workplace of the future needs to be able to adapt and embrace change at a fast pace, looking for ways in which humans and technology can co-exist in the most beneficial way,” says de Martini.

"Whatever the chosen approach, the training process must be ongoing to support the organisation on its digital transformation journey. Continuous learning and development will be critical to the success of an individual as well as an organisation."