Do you remember when…
- Computers were only just starting to be used in the workplace?
- The use of the internet was limited?
- Emails weren’t generally available?
- Pagers were used rather than mobile phones which didn’t have SMS capability when they first came out?
- Computer models had to run overnight due to limited processing and memory capacity before results were available?
- You could send a fax?
It’s safe to say that digital transformation has already and continues to change the way we do things. The challenges of a global pandemic and its associated restrictions on people movements has accelerated how companies are having to adapt to the changing climate.
Whilst this year has created challenges, it has also brought with it many opportunities:
- Opportunities for dangerous or monotonous work to be automated instead of being carried out manually.
- Opportunities for jobs requiring flexibility and creativity to be enhanced.
- Increased value of jobs, providing more purpose and positive working relationships, with careers potentially leading in new directions where we can pursue other interests and passions.
At the same time, we’ve had to adapt quickly and for those who are slow to do this, there is a risk of stagnation and decline – being left behind and losing access to markets and new growth opportunities. However, as some doors close, other doors are opening.
As we continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be prepared for the changes that are occurring.
Companies that have a growth mindset and focus on continuous learning should be more resilient and may even expand despite the challenging external environment – leading to more opportunities for their workforce. At the same time, there is the opportunity to empower the workforce, to ensure people are equipped with the skills they will need and that they are prepared to continually adapt and grow as the business reinvents itself to cope with the changing environment.
Greater emphasis is being placed on having an entrepreneurial approach and soft skills such as providing excellent customer service, collaboration, good communication, flexibility and empathy. Training needs are likely to be more tailored to individual and business needs to ensure adaptability and fit-for-purpose.
To help companies get ahead of the game, a range of programs and initiatives are available that provide support for training, developing new skills and building networks, including the SA Business Information Hub, business.gov.au and Skills SA. To help navigate and understand the digital technologies and the transformation, a transformative new Diploma has been developed in collaboration with a host of defence and education stakeholders – see Flinders University Diploma of Digital Technologies for more information.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill: ‘let’s emerge stronger and more resilient’.
Manager Supply Chain Development