How organisations can improve digital dexterity to gain future competitive advantage

A digitally enabled workforce equipped with the right blend of technology and business competencies will lead organisations to success in today’s digital business landscape. This can only be achieved when organisations prepare their workforce to be digitally dexterous.

The accelerating speed at which technology is evolving has left many businesses far behind. To remain competitive and at the fore-front, businesses need to pick up their pace, transform their business models, and adapt to this new technological reality.

The success of companies like Airbnb, Zomato, and Amazon comes from the fact that not only did they scale up their digital initiatives, which helped them disrupt existing business models and create delightful consumer experiences, but also ensured the digital dexterity of their talent pool.

Simply put, digital dexterity enables organisations to align their digital business strategy and skills of their workforce. As they deploy new-age technologies in their quest for digital transformation, the existing skillsets and capabilities of their workforce must also be developed to optimise the overall business outcomes.

Without the alignment of digital initiatives to the business objectives and workforce capabilities, organisations will be susceptible to delivering digital promise to their customers.

According to reports, companies which embrace digital transformation have 16 percent high revenue, generate 26 percent more in profits, and have 12 percent increase in market valuations.

To bridge the chasm, companies need to arm their workforce with agile practices, build their knowledge base and skillset of new age technologies like AI, ML, IoT, Data Analytics – all of which are essential to accelerate their digital transformation goals and achieve business objectives. Here are the three sure shot ways to achieve this:

Foster continuous learning

For organisations, the only way to secure a competitive advantage in the future is by constantly training and re-training their talent pool, creating a culture of continual learning, and providing all the support needed for their skill development.

Employees can benefit from on-demand, continual, and ever-evolving personalised learning programmes that can help them upskill according to their needs and transform them into an analytical, creative, and innovation driven workforce.

Build new qualifications, create new roles

The ever-evolving technological space demands specialisations and certifications to keep up with the pace. Organisations need to recognise the demand for specialised roles in the future and ensure the credentials can be achieved within the house.

For instance, the top career path people take to stay relevant in the future include assuming superior positions and moving from a data analyst to data scientist, or application developer to blockchain engineer.

By simply following a learning process backed by sequential instructions that methodically progresses on prescribed tasks, functions, and roles, a learner can advance towards their aspirational role. By deploying integrated ways to acquire new qualifications within the company, employers can assure the skills they require will be ready when the need arises.

Focus on soon-to-be-obsolete jobs

Technological advancements have changed job descriptions. While it has generated enormous opportunities and vacancies involving digital know-how, it has also made some roles obsolete. It needs to be taken into consideration that an organisation’s workforce represents several age groups.

An experienced employee in his 40s might not be as conversant with technology as a fresher. The conditions will be much different for someone in their late 50s.

Hence, the reskilling programmes must be designed to cater to the needs of all recruits, irrespective of their age, and should seek to educate on the relevance of the existing technologies for the organisation, employees, and customers. A major emphasis should be on at-risk employees whose skills might not stay relevant to the current or future needs.

Owing to the ever-evolving ecosystem, there is a huge skills gap between the talent available and the skills required. The gap is in both the hard skills and power skills, which is hampering organisations’ transformation goals. But the solution lies in developing a digitally dexterous workforce, which is the need of the hour for every organisation aiming to emerge as a digital leader and drive innovation.

Edited by Megha Reddy

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)