Digital competencies in the digital era

Digitization as a strong driver of growth brings many changes to daily work. Today we expect employees to possess increasing levels of digital knowledge and skills, self-initiative, innovativeness, flexibility and accountability.

Digitalna znanja in veščine zaposlenih v dobi digitalizacije

Demand for specialist staff with high-level digital competencies has never been as high as today. One of the greatest challenges faced by Slovenian companies undergoing the digital transformation is their lack of technical experts.

  • To build a successful digital business, we must pay a lot of attention and consideration to recruiting the right staff. Employees are the most important assets of every organization.

Machines learn to build machines, and employees learn new digital skills

As reported by the HR agency Naton, an increasing number of companies from diverse industries are optimizing their processes. We are entering a new era, HUB4, where every element in a line is digitized.

In the manufacturing process we have already reached a stage where machines produce machines. A certain number of people will have to be retrained when full digitization is achieved as about 70% of manual workers will become redundant. The first wave will hit manufacturing, processing and banking industries.

– Brane Parazajda, Director of Naton

Certain professions are already shifting to other industries. There will continue to be demand for manual skills, especially for the best-skilled workers. But in the future there is likely to be considerable growth in demand for mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and development engineers with an IT background.

Stroji se učijo izdelave strojev, zaposleni pa novih digitalnih veščin

Another interesting trend shows a growing number of women deciding to pursue a career in IT. According to the analyses made by Naton, most employees working in this field are mathematicians or physicists. Paradajza also states that about 80 percent of software programmers are not officially qualified but rather self-taught.

Self-learning is a key quality of millennials. This generation has more information available at their fingertips than any before it, and the companies need to know how to guide them, use their talents, and upgrade them with specific competencies.

– Brane Parazajda, Director of Naton

To the digital future with a Chief Digital Officer

Digital transformation requires certain key profiles associated with the organization’s core business activity. These employees must know beyond any doubt the aim of digitizing their business and should have a clear overview of the way the company’s operations are organized. They must appreciate the potential of digital transformation and be persistent enough to push digitization as a top priority.

To this aim, many companies have introduced the position of a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), who does exactly that – links the company's activities with the benefits of digitalization, sets the priorities for digital projects, and connects experts from the company's core business area with its IT and legal specialists.

  • A Chief Digital Officer (CDO) possesses expertise in digital business models, sees the bigger picture of operations, liaises with experts from different areas, and searches for practical solutions that deliver tangible benefits.
  • CDO A CDO is an expert in digital technologies who sees the company's bigger picture.

When digitizing your business, it is important to consider the legal aspects of the transformation. Today nearly everything is possible in terms of IT but it may not be allowed or legally valid. Therefore, we need to be aware of the rules that connect the legislation, business interest and IT solutions for the optimal benefit of the company. A CDO needs to have a sound knowledge and understanding of processes, their legal framework and the technological solutions on hand.

Optimization as a precondition for digitizing the business process

Digitizing a process does not mean that we will simply transfer the process to digital. Before doing that, we need to rethink its adjustments and optimization, making sure we connect system capabilities and prevent data doubling up. To do that, a CDO will need to have company management competencies since he or she must know exactly what the organization is striving to achieve through digital transformation. As said earlier, nearly everything is possible in terms of IT but the benefits do not always justify the cost.

More from Mikrocop

Digitalization connects us all

Future-proof companies promote interdisciplinarity and willingness to learn

As regards competencies and employee profiles, companies are looking for interdisciplinarity and ability to learn, knowing that in the time of rapid and inevitable change they need people who are able to learn, adapt and make practical decisions. Such staff are hard to find since most candidates come from a specific industry or profession. Digitization, on the other hand, requires a breadth and mix of knowledge.

Employees in a digital business must be able to see the bigger picture and connect with other experts to achieve the desired goal. At Mikrocop we have observed that digital transformation projects are more successful when our contact person inside the client organization possesses the above listed competencies and abilities.

We are well aware that our employees should not just stick to their field of work but should be given an opportunity to expand their range of skills and knowledge. We strive to provide them with training in various facets of work, starting with the onboarding process. Our employees have to keep broadening their horizons through in-company or external training.

We believe that the professions of the future will be characterized by interdisciplinarity and profound understanding of content. Typical execution profiles will decrease dramatically as a result of automation, while the job that remain will seek to create high added value. The focus will no longer be on the acquisition of data, but rather on understanding causal relationships.

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Alenka Fic Mikolič

Alenka Fic Mikolič is Mikrocop's Compliance and HR Management Expert who connects accounting, finance and controlling with the company's other key areas striving for the achievement of common goals. She is in charge of Mikrocop’s digital journey, from deploying new technologies to modifying the corporate culture and ensuring regulatory compliance.