Digital success requires hiring people who look beyond digital technology to focus on end-to-end processes and outcomes. That means not only understanding technologies such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), automation and machine learning, but also knowing how to integrate them into operations that benefit the business. It means understanding the ins and outs of a digital process, being able to think and work at the speed of digital, and collaborating in new ways.
Of course, building a digitally fluent workforce that gets the big picture is easier said than done. Here are five must-have traits of talented digital workers.
1. They know what a digital process is and how to determine its value.
Enterprises create, collect and consume ever-increasing amounts of data. In an agile world where the word “instantaneous” continues to be redefined, human-based processes will be replaced by machine-based digital processes. These processes must deliver business value or improved or automated business decision-making capabilities.
2. They know how to capitalize on digital technologies.
A workforce that thrives on digital change should be fluent in technology as well as business. It should use technology to make better business decisions on growing amounts of data. This approach can only work if we allow automation, machine learning and AI to be an integral part of the digital process workflow in an enterprise.
3. They simultaneously think at various speeds.
Digital workers should be able to quickly identify opportunities and solve problems — while also taking time to test how solutions affect business outcomes and to look for patterns in data.
Digital workers have to be willing to experiment, test and try something different — to fail fast, iterate through multiple cycles and see what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, abort it, absorb the information and try something else. Then we can come up with a better way of doing things and continue to create new business opportunities. This allows us to be much faster, which means we can be more competitive in the marketplace. An entrepreneurial and out-of-the-box mind-set needs to prevail in this fast-moving world where the time from ideation to product or service is shrinking.
4. They’re able to draw on DevSecOps methodologies.
The digital world moves fast, but workers still need to be able to absorb the changes. They should adopt DevSecOps, where development with automated testing and continuous integration is built into the workflow. In this environment, enterprises can work quickly to improve code quality, security and compliance.
The development, security and operational teams should be co-located and made up of multi-skilled, high-performing members acting as a united organization.
5. They are adept at using digital tools to collaborate.
Digital collaboration tools are key to keeping communication channels open and active among team members for seamless integration of work. A digital platform and agile business processes can support a collaborative workforce that thrives on rapid experimentation.
We need to embrace the change we see around us and take advantage of the opportunities that come along with that change. People who both embrace and drive change will be those that will make significant contributions and have a major impact on business outcomes. These are the people that are going to thrive in the digital world.