TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE says workplace development is crucial in the new industrial revolution
A Davos morning-after sinking feeling hangs over individuals who were not on the guest list. We’re talking about a company’s workforce urgently needing digital training and guidance to survive an era of downsizing, outsourcing and general workplace instability.
Not that your average employee could have afforded to jet in-and-out of the highly-elite annual shindig staged high in the Swiss Alps.
The World Economic Forum attracted all the great-and-good of the political, economic and business worlds and the message to ambitious entrepreneurs was loud and clear: ramp up your drive on the digital transformation front. Other heady topics discussed included climate change, sustainability, geopolitical turmoil and artificial intelligence.
Also on the agenda was the 4th Industrial Revolution (41R). It is claimed we’ve entered a fundamentally different era, one characterised by a range of new technologies fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds impacting all disciplines, economies and industries. Even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
Less spoken about was company culture, worker wellbeing or “upskilling”. The latter Technopedia describes as representing a proactive approach to employee professional development, learning new abilities for current and future roles to minimise the skills gap.
McKinsey & Company says 4IR could make products and services more easily “accessible and transmissible” for businesses and consumers. Impact on the employee is less clear.
Register points out they hope to hang on to their job amid daily reports of lay-offs and increased danger of worker burnout. Forbes warns an organisation should give substantial weight to its frontline workers whether on production floor, maintenance shop, warehouse or out in the field.
Otherwise, they’ll fall into a trap characterised in The End of Loyalty. The book by Bendable Labs co-president Rick Wartzman warns of erosion between companies and workers, as previous “social contract” productivity-boosting benefits are all but lost.
An instantprint survey of over 1,000 UK office workers reveals three-quarters say they aren’t moving jobs this year, unlike 12 months ago. “Career committing” is the new trend sweeping the business landscape as they decide it’s better to stay put.
Computerworld claims in the drive for automation while some jobs will likely be replaced by AI the machine-learning technology should create new roles, and help alleviate mundane tasks that will free up workers to focus on more creative work.
For your average small to medium-sized business (SME) digital transformational efforts are more likely to succeed where team building involves trust and respect operating in a safe, socially responsible and ethical manner.
Cloud and digital initiatives combined accelerates the digital journey, one where employees, equipped with the very latest tools, seamlessly connect, communicate and collaborate with colleagues and customers alike. It’s where diversity and inclusion is encouraged.
An Open University report reveals two-thirds of SMEs surveyed have skills shortage concerns – especially digital tech roles. Here, a key route to turbocharge digital transformational plans is to partner with an AWS-Certified specialist, leading to an essential boost to an enterprise’s return-on-investment (ROI).
AWS Serverless Adoption Framework identifies and resolves highly-cost idle usage across the cloud environment to stop wasteful investment across technologies. Failure to modernise results in reliance on expensive, inefficient and outdated legacy systems which are soon to be obsolete and pose an increasing risk in deteriorating customer satisfaction.
Conversely, staff members learn new digital skills and raise their productivity while contributing to an organisation’s significantly improved sustainability impact through a reduction in carbon output.
Bottom line? A modern digitally-based work environment is where employees feel more engaged, empowered and an integral part of a company’s aims and objectives.
Meanwhile a 5th Industrial Revolution is already in the offing as Big Tech ensures we never switch off.
Sciencedirect reports 5IR is already being marketed as promoting harmonious human-machine collaborations with a focus on the wellbeing of everyone.
Sound to good to be true? No doubt, something for the next Davos gathering to ponder…
This column is supported be digital transformation specialist Exception