Companies must plan for the future of digital transformation

Auckland – The future of work is changing at a staggeringly fast rate as digital transformation, automation and artificial intelligence take over many jobs that were previously performed by people, TechLeaders NZ chairperson David Kennedy says.

While this will make some human-driven roles obsolete, it will also create new jobs that will require different skills. This digital disruption of work happens quickly, which means companies need to be able to move fast in order to keep pace.

“For many businesses, their current staff may not possess the new skills that are going to be required in the future, so they must consider how they will future-proof their workforce,” Kennedy says in a TechLeaders NZ discussion paper just released today.

“One way for companies to ensure they have an adaptable workforce is to adopt a capability framework as a way of measuring and managing their human resources. Capability frameworks focus on continuous learning and future potential.

“Technology leaders from some of New Zealand’s largest organisations have discussed how capability frameworks can enable organisations to keep up with changes.

“The rapid rise in technology is changing the nature of work for many businesses. While these technological developments lead to increased productivity for companies, organisations are now struggling with how to keep their staff employed, engaged and able to do the changing roles required of them.

“The challenge is for businesses to prepare a future workforce which is highly adaptable. This involves ensuring that there is the infrastructure in place for people to upskill on-demand, without major time commitments.

“In order for businesses to manage their future workforce, they need to understand the skills and capability possessed by their current employees, so they adapt them to meet their changing needs.”

Traditionally, competency frameworks have been the way in which many organisations structure and manage their human resources.

Competency frameworks based on a person’s current skills can be cumbersome and complicated. Comparatively, capability frameworks are about continuous learning and potential. Capability frameworks focus on what is someone capable of doing in the future and their ability to get certain outcomes.

The implications of an accelerated pace-of-change needs to be factored in. If a business is changing rapidly, they need to understand how that impacts their staff’s needs. With the half-life of a skill decreasing sharply, they need to have a strategy in place to future-proof their staff.
“We recommend the large organisations should create the CV of the future. They need to articulate what they think are going to be the most valuable skills and attributes their employees may need going forward,” Kennedy says.

This will provide guidance to employees looking to ready themselves for future changes and help attract new talent.

“TechLeaders recognise that there is a need for education providers to offer quick, online and flexible micro-courses to upskill people who are the already in the workforce.

“While NZQA is working to introduce more micro-credentials into the market, education providers should move rapidly to pilot micro-training that may not need full NZQA credentialing to provide value.

“It will be incumbent on large organisations to clearly articulate capability development areas needed to provide guidance to education partners,” he says.

TechLeaders are part of the large NZTech Alliance which consists of more than 20 tech associations that represent more than 800 organisations.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.