Digitalization is revolutionizing the working world in all organizations, of all sizes and sectors. Digital transformation is no longer a trend, but the center piece of any business strategy.
We’re entering a “new era”, which some like to call the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and others “the Great Change”. But whatever we call it, the truth is that business, economy and society are being deeply transformed, above all the way we work.
The report “Rewriting the rules for the digital age” ensures that the change requires a redefinition of all internal policies, processes and practices, from training or contracting to the definition of work itself. In fact, 88% of all companies believe that work has to be redesigned to ensure its success in the digital age, and half of the Spanish workers recognize their needs to acquire new digital skills to improve their employability, according to Randstad Workmonitor.
The pace of transformation will go even further. According to the report “People First: The Primacy of People in Digital Age”, 86% of entrepreneurs believe that technological evolution will accelerate to an unknown pace in the next three years. In fact, according to the report, companies are in “digital cultural shock”. The study gives clues about what the future might be looking like: after the initial shock, organizations “will have to renew their products, their business models and all the processes that support them”, which means that the world of work has to be entirely reinvented.
Although technology is the engine of this transformation, it’s the companies and their workers that hold the key to change. We need to adapt the talent, develop continuously and keep pace with technological evolution.
What is the worker’s role? Talent and this digital culture will be the clear differentiator in a highly competitive business environment and in an increasingly digital world. The challenge of being competitive in the digital age will not be solved by consuming more and more technology, or, as some fear, replacing humans with technology. People are at the center of the revolution. That’s why companies must help them achieve more thanks to technology.
Adapt to Change
To implement this digital culture, take advantage of technology and add it to human talent, some adjustments have to be made at both the individual and corporate level. The main challenges are:
1. The culture of adaptability: we have to adapt to the new times. It is necessary, however, to understand that revolution is not only technological, but also corporate.
2. The culture of innovation: innovation should be promoted in all levels, not only in R&D departments. Companies have to try ideas, even if they are a failure. This mentality of learning from failures to improve is typical of start-ups and small organizations, which move fast and easily overcome small setbacks until they find the right solution. Large corporations have to incorporate this performance if they want to retain their competitive edge in the market.
3. The culture of Big Data and Analytics: technology offers the possibility to collect more and more data and analyze them later to know in depth our customers, our own workers, etc. Almost everything can be measured. We have to find a way to take advantage of this knowledge in order to make the most appropriate business decisions at any given time.
4. The culture of collaboration: technology allows sharing knowledge among all members of the organization to develop jointly and collaboratively.
Technology has been fairly stable for decades. That’s why work has also been fairly stable and companies have been able to maintain their business models. Now, technological evolution has accelerated, work and business models also have to evolve quickly. The future, however, is not of the machines, but of the people. They have to embrace change and exploit the potential of technologies.