Adapting to Change: Reskilling for Digital Transformation 

elev8 - 4 min read

reskilling for digital transformation

As the business landscape continues to evolve, digital reskilling has become necessary for individuals and organizations. Technological advancements have reshaped how customers think and react, that’s why adapting and staying relevant is more crucial than ever. 

Reskilling for digital transformation involves acquiring new competencies and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the digital age. It requires individuals to embrace change, challenge existing norms, and actively seek growth opportunities.  

One of the key drivers of digital transformation is the demand for professionals skilled in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, and data analytics.

As the world encounters the transformative economic, social, and technological challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, investing in reskilling your employees has never been more critical. In this article, we will explore how reskilling enables companies to achieve success through digital transformation.   

What is Reskilling, and Why is it Essential for Digital Transformation?  

Reskilling refers to learning new skills or upgrading existing ones to adapt to changes in technology and industry demands. It is crucial for digital transformation as it enables employees to stay relevant, fill skill gaps, and effectively contribute to the organization’s digital initiatives.

Reskilling IT for Digital Success in a Tight Talent Market  

The tech talent market is tight, and hiring the best candidates can be challenging. Reskilling existing employees with the necessary training and education is considered one of the best practices to address this issue. It boosts employee morale and helps them stay updated with the latest technologies and trends. By providing your teams with the necessary training and education, you can ensure they have the skills to compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Digital reskilling also helps companies save on recruitment costs while retaining valuable employees familiar with their business processes.  

How Traditional Industries are Reskilling for Digital Transformation  

Here’s how three traditional industries embraced change to reskill their workforces massively and remain relevant in the digital economy. 

Reskilling for digital transformation in the manufacturing sector   

Since so much of manufacturing is based on production chains made up of individual, often repetitive, tasks, this sector would be among the first to see widespread technological integration. More than 50% of duties within the manufacturing sector can be at least partially automated, as McKinsey found in a recent study

As a result, the people who fill these laborious, physical roles must be rapidly reskilled and upskilled to be able to operate the machines replacing them on the factory floor.

“Technology adoption will play a key role in empowering employees, attracting new talent, filling skills gaps as they arise, and enabling new hybrid workflows in information technology. According to Gartner, manufacturers cannot afford to stay stagnant as the major trends reshape workforces across all sectors,” Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, a US-based digital machine health company, says.  

A recent Censuswide survey supports this statement. After surveying 4,000 manufacturing employees in the UK, the authors found that 80% of respondents want to reskill and upskill in 2022, with IT skills ranking highest among their interests.  

Reskilling for digital transformation in the media sector 

Due to the encroachment of personal media devices and high-speed internet, the landscape for large-scale media companies has been incredibly dynamic since the turn of the millennium.  

More than a third of 350 senior media and entertainment executives from around the world said in an EY survey that without reskilling and reinvention, their company won’t exist in five years:   “Thirty-three percent of media executives identify talent management as one of the greatest drivers of change in their business, ranking higher than competition, technology disruption or even changing customer expectations.”    

AT&T is a shining example of staying power and flexibility since it has survived and thrived in the wake of emerging companies like Netflix that hit the ground running regarding mobile and internet services. A few years ago, the company initiated a massive reskilling effort after discovering that nearly half its 250,000 employees lacked the necessary skills such as data science, cybersecurity, agile project management, and computer science to keep the organization competitive.
“The discovery presented AT&T with two daunting options – we could go out and try to hire all these software and engineering people, or we could try to reskill our existing workforce so they could be competent in the technology and the skills required to run the business going forward,” explains Bill Blase, senior executive vice president of human resources as quoted by CNBC. With new processes and technologies comes a need for new skills and the emergence of new roles. We want to ensure that we have the right people — we call them plant champions — working with the larger factory workforce. We identify those who can help propagate change management with people in technology and then enable all of these aspects of automation, connected factories, apps, and analytics.

Over the last decade, AT&T’s business has been changing rapidly, moving from a voice network to a data network, from hardware to the cloud, and from a landline business to a mobile-first enterprise.

Adding to its ability to entertain the world, social media now also represents the leading space for digital marketing, and skills that pertain to this field are among those in the highest demand in 2022. Marketing Week found in 2021 that eight of the top 10 skills in demand after the pandemic were related to digital and social media marketing, including expertise in ad serving, analytics, web content writing, and e-commerce.

Reskilling for digital transformation in financial services 

Among financial institutions, JP Morgan is one of the most long-lived, and part of the reason for this is its ability to recognize, adapt to, and set emerging trends.

In March 2019, JP Morgan declared its intention to more than double its investment in skilling future workers, adding $350 million to the already existing $250 million budget. The skills of greatest priority to financial houses like JP Morgan are consistent across the field, with cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming and blockchain leading the pack.

In a 2021 report, McKinsey found that cloud computing could increase infrastructure cost efficiency by over 25%, and the effectiveness of widespread cloud computing applications relies on AI integration and direct computing knowledge.
A BIS (Bank for International Settlements) survey in the same year showed that around 60% of central banks were testing or studying Central Bank Digital Currency— the integrity of which is almost entirely dependent on blockchain technology.    

“The new world of work is about skills, not necessarily degrees…Unfortunately, too many people are stuck in low-skill jobs with no future, and too many businesses cannot find the skilled workers they need,” Jamie Dimon, chairperson and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co., says.   

We need a digital reskilling revolution

The economy of this century will be defined by change on an unprecedented scale. Given the increasing acceleration of technological progress, this change will take more work to anticipate and prepare for.   As a result, the most essential skill we can now adopt is the ability to learn quickly and apply our learning effectively, i.e., specifically. Skilling initiatives, such as upskilling and reskilling, will allow you to respond to changing market conditions and emerging needs rapidly, as opposed to hoping that either the current talent pool has the knowledge you need or that the existing skills of your workforce can cope as market conditions shift. Acquiring these new critical skills, including upskilling, is crucial for companies to compete in the increasingly digital world, as mentioned by Sari J. Wilde, Research Leader at Gartner.

If you’d like to be a leader in the digital reskilling revolution, we can help. Please explore our site and discover how Elev8 allows governments and companies to reskill journeys.