Digital transformation demands people transformation too
Transforming businesses will need their employees to transform themselves and gain a range of varied new skills too.
This is according to Anton van Rooyen, owner of AMVR, who was speaking during a CTU Training Solutions webinar on reskilling for the 4th industrial revolution.
He said all employees would need to broaden their skills sets and gain an understanding of technologies and functions beyond their non-core roles to remain relevant and valuable to their organisations in future.
He warned against having a myopic view of where industry was going and what skills would be needed in future. “Sometimes you need to look around and think about what you’re doing, the broader industry you’re in, and how the entire industry is changing. Instead of worrying about being out of a job due to automation, for example, people need to think about what they can do with the time automation and robots will give them, and upskill themselves to do productive and meaningful new things,” he said.
“Whether you’re a salesperson, IT guy, HR professional or engineer, when your organisation transforms, you can’t come out of it still just a salesperson, IT guy, HR professional or engineer. You have to transform yourself too, and you’re never too old to learn new skills,” he said. “In future, you will also need to understand data analysis, advanced social selling, mobile, multi-platform UX design, network and information security, and you will also need creative thinking skills.”
Instead of worrying about being out of a job due to automation ... people need to think about what they can do with the time automation and robots will give them.Anton van Rooyen, AMVR
He said creative thinking – beyond systems thinking – would allow organisations to innovate across processes, services and products. Soft skills such as communication, systems thinking and creative thinking could be taught. However, one challenge for organisations was that many of the industry’s creative thinkers were young people who tended to job-hop and needed to be encouraged to join organisations and stay within organisations.
“In many areas, South African business is ready for the 4IR – industry can be adaptable and tenacious if it has to, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “However, there might be a gap in mobile expertise, artificial intelligence and machine learning, mixed reality and product visualisation skills. From a data perspective, we have very good data analysis people in organisations, but we may need to bridge the gap between analysing the data and understanding business trends. We also need more cloud skills, and information security skills to help build trust in markets.”
You need to get the right people on the bus and pick a seat for them.Anton van Rooyen, AMVR
To prepare a training or upskilling strategy, employers need to look at transforming certain processes within the organisation, Van Rooyen said. They should revisit their original goals and review whether they were still on track – and relevant. They should then review the resources and data they have within the organisation and optimise the use of them.
Organisations should also identify employees with potential for development and put in place a plan to support their professional development. “You need to get the right people on the bus and pick a seat for them; and you need to bring youngsters into decision making bodies in the organisation.”
He highlighted Microsoft Azure courses covering AI and data science, and Microsoft 365 mobility and security courses offered by CTU to help employees build broader future-proof skills sets.
CTU is currently running a Microsoft Madness promotion, in which an AZ-900 course will be offered free with enrolment for any discounted Microsoft Azure role-based certification course. For information, go to https://ctutraining.ac.za/promotions/microsoft-madness/