The relentless onward strides of tech development are allowing forward-looking companies to steal a march on rivals and competitors. The way that the public is accepting new means of doing things is apparent in how the ‘new normal’ is shaping up with the co-operation of citizens worldwide. In the US, this is also seen in the uptake of new tech at end-user levels.
For businesses, this is both good and bad news – it’s a positive thing if your firm is set up to take advantage of new approaches. However, it can be a distinctly negative aspect if your commercial processes are tied into long-standing methodologies that may be beyond their sell-by date.
To make the most of the continued advances in tech, it isn’t enough to be just using up-to-the-minute platforms and software applications, because it also requires a workplace mindset that both encourages and accepts the need for change.
Therefore, the skills of employees must match the aims and desires of the company and be able to keep up with the pace of forward movement in whatever area it may arise.
One of the significant challenges facing any business in the current commercial environment is knowing how best to collect, collate, store, and analyze data. The sheer volume of information that the digital commercial environment produces puts anything that happened in the past in the shade.
The volume of data means that there are limitless opportunities for a business to react and adapt to changing conditions, and that isn’t just limited to workflow and end product delivery. The way that employees interact with evolving demands is key to success, and once again, data can be the solution to making sure people with the right skills are in the best positions.
The insights into the decision-making processes that can be gained by the correct use of data are the basis for positive effects on performance at a company level, especially when it comes to keeping up with a fluid operating environment.
Alex Friedman is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Jackson Hole Economics, a company that specializes in developing actionable market intelligence for its clients. These cutting edge processes, which are based on harvesting data from a wide range of sources, can add value to a company no matter what area it is trading in.
One of the ways in which this approach to market data can be applied is by focusing in on specific areas that need attention and working out what skills are required to increase productivity.
Today, the whole process of recruitment is very different to what it was only a few years ago. The fast-moving nature of tech advancements means that a flexible approach and willingness to learn new ways of doing things is now a highly valued mindset for a job candidate. In the past, experience with particular processes or even individual software application suites might have been the benchmark. Now the ability to adapt and take on new challenges is perhaps even more critical.
A multi-skilled employee would be someone who is versed in several different disciplines and, therefore, can take on roles across various departments within the same organization. However, it can also refer to those whose educational achievements go hand in hand with experience built up ‘on the job,’ whether that has been gained within a particular sector or elsewhere.
The idea of these kinds of ‘transferable skills’ used to be something that was almost looked down on by many employers who were more interested in ‘like for like’ employees filling the same vacancies. A modern, forward-looking business will take a different view today, as the concept of applying a specific skill to a separate working environment is seen as a positive example of ‘creative disruption’ in action.
Work and play
The way that new tech continues to embed itself in day to day life means that in a contemporary workplace, the boundaries between work and play can sometimes be blurred. The idea that an employee would use his or her own equipment to access business infrastructure and data might have been perceived as out of bounds in the past. Today’s ‘bring your own’ policies couldn’t be further from this old way of doing things.
The fact that multi-platform applications, often based on cloud storage structures, are equally accessible to a range of different devices means that it’s easy for an employee to use their phone, laptop, tablet, or another machine of choice to do their work. That not only saves the outlay for a business in terms of supplying equipment but also acts as a perfect metaphor for the idea of an individual approach to workers in terms of accepting multiple skills and approaches, all working towards a common goal of success.