The human challenge in digital transformation
We are living in one of the most interesting eras in terms of technological advances.
1) Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, in 1965 observed the speed at which it was possible to add transistors to a processor or integrated circuit in microelectronics applications. Moore cited that the rate at which it was possible to double the number of transistors that fit on a square centimeter was biannual. It has been 56 years and this law is still in force, giving life to new use cases that not only refer to hardware but also to the processing capacity or intelligence that we can give to things.
2) On the basis that technological capabilities from the hardware perspective are and will be covered as long as Moore’s law continues to apply, we can focus on the other two dimensions that move the needle in digital transformation, applications and talent.
3) Applications have been growing exponentially with the help of large software as a service companies such as Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Amazon, Oracle, which have become application ecosystems, have led us to migrate to the cloud, to have digital architectures and microservices, facilitating the ability to imagine valuable processes for users and to have enough tools to make them a reality.
4) If the hardware is ready and the capacity to create applications is practically infinite, what stops companies from being a machine of constant transformation?
5) The answer, in general, is talent. And I dare to say that it is one of the main, if not the main challenge for the next decade for both startups and large companies today.
6) Let’s try to understand the problem in depth and let’s start with current employees.
Why is it not so easy to execute technology projects? Almost all of the middle management layers that work in the company today have between 5 and 8 years of graduation, so the technologies they had contact with in their university stage do not resemble the technologies they are seeing in their professional life and even worse, many of the new projects are to change the company’s technology, so the years of current experience are of little use because what they are looking for is to change the technology completely.
In a study by the MIT Review magazine, 1200 CEOS from different companies were asked about their impression of their workforce and 70% agreed that by 2023 if they do not find a way to transform (reskill) they will have to replace almost 25% of their workforce.
12) How do you react in a market where there are vacancies every day on Linkedin for data scientist positions, ux/ui, cybersecurity specialists among many others and at the same time you have more than a million people looking for jobs?
14) How do we make the connection between what companies need in an ultra-competitive market where there is a strong disconnect between the competencies of candidates and the needs of companies?
Rather than looking for culprits for how we got here, it is necessary to get out of the box to start implementing solutions to bridge the gap that we are currently facing.
In the United States, efforts are being made such as Hiboo.ai, a Chatbot with artificial intelligence that coaches managers to know when to engage in a conversation with an employee in order to address issues such as stress, salary increases, performance, career plans. Employee turnover in the U.S. costs 40% more than replacing the candidate in direct costs and over 60% in indirect costs when including the learning curve and the loss of knowledge that the person takes with him or her.
These tools allow managers to anticipate employees’ needs and try to compensate from the soft side of job challenges.
Ozaru.io is a B2B talent development as a service in Mexico specialized in Data positions, they are training college graduate students in data proficiency for free and once they get certified they get offers to the graduates and charge directly to the company. The innovation of their model comes from teaching in scale using an A.I. to personalize learning tracks using one minute videos delivered by whatsapp.
“We are facing one of the most acute labor paradoxes within the new economic cycle of digital transformation in companies.”
“Companies today are facing on the one hand that their competition as an employer brand is no longer only domestic, employees today through websites like Turing can apply for jobs from Mexico to remote vacancies in the United States and Europe working hourly, piecework, at rates 10x higher than what the local labor market offers.”
“The shortage of IT specialist has gone up almost 300% in the last decade”
7) Who is inside the companies dedicated to mapping human capabilities technologically speaking? what certifications do they have? how many projects have they experienced? how many suppliers do they manage?
8) All this knowledge is crucial when choosing the best product owner or initiative leader. Frustration often begins with not being able to match the best available talent with the available challenges. Planning is one of the most important stages in any digital transformation project and we do not have an internal talent map to be able to decide who to retrain, who to bring in from outside and who to execute. According to the latest Linkedin study, barely 20% of employers have updated resumes of their professionals. Almost 80% of employers have outdated versions of employees’ CVs so the task of mapping talent for projects becomes a craft.
9) It is clear that there is a huge opportunity to develop new accelerated ways for upskill and reskill employees to transform the current workforce while also creating nano degrees that can satisfy the current tech demand because every year the gap is getting bigger.
10 )The new normal is a wave of employees who are no longer willing to return to the office, who during the pandemic moved to quieter places and prefer to change jobs rather than return to the big metropolis where the country’s largest corporations are located.
11) We are facing a reality where digital transformation is not about technology, it is really a transformation of people.
13) It has become common that when you enter linkedin you find the same amount of people with the caption “hiring” on their photo as people with “open to work” on their photo.
15) Chatclass is a startup in Brazil that brings corporate university content to employees, making a proactive effort for employees to browse available content and be able to take certifications that are available
Multiverse is delivering tech professionals directly to companies trying to match the offer and the demand of tech professionals, is currently in UK and USA markets.
Invested is a startup that provides employees of large companies with a personal finance planning platform so that people can learn how to plan their wealth and be approached with personalized savings, investment or retirement vehicles, along with education in personal finance.
16) There are several companies trying to fill this gap, the opportunity is global and it will get more painful over the next decade. Edtech, HR tech need disruptive solutions.
Soon enough a company will rise to offer an end 2 end value proposition, the questions are when and if will your company survive in the meantime?