10 Things HR Needs To Understand To Prepare For The Digital Economy

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By Jason Averbook, CEO, LeapGen

This article is by Featured Blogger Jason Averbook, from his LinkedIn page. Republished with the author’s permission.

When it comes to preparing for the digital economy, there is a lot to keep in mind. Gartner predicts that the next ten years will be the first truly digital decade. The ways we interact with each other has changed. Workers and management will need to change, too, if they are to function in the new environment. Here are ten things that HR professionals need to understand about staff in the digital decade.

  • Business Knowledge: Up till now, the business world has required managers that understand the wide-range, big picture of the business they manage. In the digital decade, managers will need to understand the depth of the business. This knowledge will not come from traditional training sessions, the reason that traditional LMS's will die. It will come from working in the business' various departments or from special projects that provide a whole picture of the business and an understanding of the accountability for such projects. It will also come from new learning tools that drip "micro-learning" to workers on a just-in-time, as needed, personalized basis.
  • New Focus: C-Suite leaders will use technology in new ways to interact with customers. They will focus on creating new revenue streams and new ways to beat the competition. Shifting the business from one that involved people serving others to a model where people help digitize processes to more effectively and efficiently serve others will be the norm.
  • Planning/Watching: The successful businesses will stay abreast of innovations in technology and plan ways to adapt to the digital market changes. Everyone in the business must keep their eyes open each day and bring new ideas to the workplace. We have to be ready to create OS'M's (Oh Shit Moments) - like killing the headphone jack (appropriate for today); to move our business forward.
  • Managing Outcomes: Success in business will no longer mean just staying cost-effective. It will require the successful management of digital technology outcomes by studying and understanding where those technological changes will take the business. Outcomes need to be understood and stated at the start of programs not something that we try to measure through add on analytical tools at the end of programs.
  • A Culture of Change: Instead of the traditional business relationships, the digital revolution requires an understanding that customers, suppliers, IT developers and technology co-exist in a complex system that drives changes in the market place. Perpetual Beta is the only way to survive in the digital economy and that will drive most crazy. Those that love change will thrive and those that understand how to help people deal with change will truly be in heaven.
  • Vision First: The digital decade requires a new kind of leadership; leadership that has vision and inspires a cultural change at all levels. Businesses need to build a digital culture that moves away from the traditional, risk-averse, corporate controlled model. Leaders need to become excited by the possibilities of where the digital economy can transport them and take advantage of the drivers that will get them there.
  • User Experience Designs: The application development will combine traditional infrastructure with digital innovation. Applications will function with agility and respond rapidly. Applications will focus on a pleasant user experience, too, rather than just functionality. Compelling user experiences will drive competition in the marketplace. Those who continue to focus solely on functionality will lose. We will measure adoption not based on how many people sign-on but the impact of those engagements with digital solutions and how to continually improve those.
  • IT is the Business: Brian Prentiss of Gartner says that IT is no longer a part of every business; it is the business. In the age of the Internet of Things, customer on-line shopping, mobile devices, the Cloud, and Big Data Analytics, new digital technologies impact businesses at every level. Technology has become the way businesses interface with customers as well as the way they run their operations.
  • From CIO to CDO: Companies are starting to recognize that the digital decade most likely requires a change to the role of the CIO from CIO to Chief Digital Officer. This represents a change in the expertise of the CDO from someone who runs the IT unit every day. According to Gartner's 2015 Survey of CIOs, almost half of the 2,800 IT professionals participating in the survey said they have a deputy CIO. The Deputy CIO runs the day-to-day operation of the IT unit while the CIO (or CDO) keeps his eyes open for the latest technical changes and keeps the company's digital strategy updated.
  • Digital Humanism Manifesto: The digital business explosion means IT leaders must shift the balance toward digital humanism. Gartner proposed three principles for the manifesto: Put people at the center. Embrace unpredictability. Protect personal space. These are truly important as instead of trying to focus on work/life balance we focus on human/machine balance and what is in the best interest of the customer, the workforce and the mission of the organization as a whole.

To learn more about the Digital Humanism Manifesto, read the Gartner press release entitled "Gartner Says CIOs Need Bimodal IT to Succeed in Digital Business."

Originally published on LinkedIn.