Digitization is impacting companies in every industry as business leaders implement digital technologies and processes to transform all aspects of their operating models. Yet, even with the growth and innovation that digitization will drive, many people fear it will eliminate jobs at a record pace.

In addition, by 2020, four in 10 industry incumbents will be displaced by disruptive competitors (according to the “Digital Vortex” research conducted by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, or DBT Center), further heightening the uncertainty around job security

At this important point in the evolution of business and technology, the question we should ask is: Will digitization eliminate jobs or redefine them?

The answer depends on how companies are digitized. If you look at technology simply as a way to reduce costs at the expense of your most important asset—people—job losses will mount. If, however, you approach digitization correctly by first reimagining work—understanding which new roles and skills will be needed in a digital world—the future of jobs is bright.

To help business leaders reimagine work, the DBT Center just released a new study, “Workforce Transformation in the Digital Vortex.” The research shows how empowering people with “digital accelerators” that combine business process change and technology creates the three capabilities of digital business agility—hyperawareness, informed decision-making, and fast execution.

Digital Business Agility Is Achieved with Six Digital Accelerators that Enable Hyperawareness, Informed Decision-Making, and Fast Execution

Digital Business Agility Is Achieved with Six Digital Accelerators that Enable Hyperawareness, Informed Decision-Making, and Fast Execution
Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2016

These digital capabilities and accelerators can help organizations reimagine work and the jobs and skills workers will need as they digitize their businesses.

Hyperawareness with insight capture and work-pattern sensing

Developing hyperawareness requires people with strong communication and analytic skills—especially the ability to listen, formulate insights, and share information. Cultural change management will be required across all levels of the organization to share and act on these new insights.

Informed decision-making with ubiquitous analytics and collaborative decision-making

Informed decision-making requires workers who can embrace new technology, learn new skills, and provide honest feedback. Successful employees will also benefit from education and experience in Big Data, analytics, artificial intelligence, user experience, and system design.

Fast execution with agile talent pipeline and intelligent talent allocation

To help with fast execution, consider dedicating those with social media experience, analytics abilities, and good people skills to discover and recruit talent. Allocate budget to pay rewards for hiring top job candidates.

Digitization is not just about deploying technology to cut costs. The real goal is to drive business growth through innovation. That means reimagining work and empowering people in a digital context and creating a more efficient and fulfilling work experience along the way.


Kevin Bandy

No Longer with Cisco