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Growing the tech talent needed for digital transformation

Jan 06, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for organizations to improve productivity and growth through digital transformation.

But even the best digital transformation strategies can fail if your team lacks the knowledge and skills needed to work in this modernized environment. You must equip your workforce for transformation today and find the tech-savvy talent ready to take on the digital challenges of tomorrow.

So, what does a digital-centric workplace look like, and how to do you shape and sharpen the skills required for digital transformation?

1. Know the technology landscape of transformation

Part of digital transformation involves processing large amounts of data quickly to analyze everything from business and social trends to consumer behavior. That means ditching spreadsheets and firing up tools with real-time analytics and processing data that’s stored — and managed efficiently — on the cloud.

With refined data strategies, you can then apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to further audit, integrate and optimize data systems. Application programming interfaces (APIs) make information-sharing, data integration and reporting easier. Augmented reality tools illuminate obscure concepts, and the internet of things provides new insights into inventories, supply chains and many other areas.

With social media, the internet, smartphones and remote work all here to stay, technology that facilitates external and internal communications also fits into digital transformation.

2. Determine the skills you need to succeed

These and other technological innovations won’t work in isolation — they must be knitted to a digital transformation strategy that accounts for the roles of people, programs and processes. But the transformed workplace must by digitally literate.

As your organization moves into this brave new era, which specific skills do you need to cultivate? Think about building capacity in these areas:

  • Hard skills: It’s perhaps no surprise that many of today’s employers are seeking top talent with the skills similar to those needed for digital transformation. Employers are looking for workers with abilities in analysis, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, mobile application development, people management, video and audio production, and user experience design. Digital security, digital marketing and DevSecOps (uniting development, security and operations in the creation of software) are also critical in digital transformation.
  • Soft skills: Soft skills may be harder to measure than technical ones, but they are no less important to digital transformation. Employees still need those traditional skills of problem solving, critical thinking, adaptability, productivity, and working well with others.

3. Grow your talent and capabilities for digital transformation

At its core, digital transformation is about people, but how do you build the capacity of people to transform? Here are a few ways:

  • Lead from the top: One way to set the stage for transformation is reduce your employees’ resistance to change in the first place, and that takes leadership. The right leader can manage a group in a way that gets them to work as a team to outperform others.
  • Build talent from within: Offer education and training programs to prepare your workforce for the digital future. Wipfli’s tuition reimbursement program assists team members in earning advanced degrees in data science. Our newly trained specialists are working with partners and department directors to collect and use data to drive innovation and improve processes throughout the firm.
  • Promote continuous learning: Evolve talent with your organization by providing access to learning programs. When they can continually upskill, so can your company — differentiating your business from the competition.
  • Right-size roles: As new technology frees up employees’ time to focus on core tasks, consider realigning positions to fit new workflows.
  • Plan ahead: Once you’ve identified the specific skills you have or need, create a talent plan to guide hiring. Be sure to include candidates from diverse and nontraditional backgrounds. Now that COVID-19 has made remote work a necessity and ongoing possibility, you can also look at prospects nationally and even globally.
  • Consult and contract out: Bring on outside teams to evaluate your talent pool, create training programs and fill critical gaps in areas such as data analysis, cybersecurity, data management, human capital management and technology management.

4. Talk to Wipfli

Where are you in your digital transformation journey? Wipfli can help. We work with clients across industries to bring about digital transformation — harnessing people and technology to transform businesses. We evaluate the skillsets you need for growth, create suites of digital and technology solutions and design training to match, and roadmap your digital transformation journey. Wipfli covers gaps in your digital, regulatory, security and user experience capabilities so you can stay focused on the path ahead. Learn more about our digital services.

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Billy Collins
Senior Manager
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