What skills are essential in digital transformation?


2021 06 09


The trends in people's skills and competencies that emerge today are significant for digitization and future businesses' success. Whereas historically automation was more large scale manufacturing connected, now the advanced technologies are changing the way business is done in sectors that were not so prone to technology before – healthcare, law, etc.

Digital transformation requires not only skills per se but also a transformation strategy and knowledge of the business sector. Many companies are not investing enough in their employees and skills development strategies. This gap calls on companies to review all training and retraining approaches. Today, employers have to cope with the complexity of the digital economy, and the rapid technological advances that come with it require lifelong learning and continuous professional development for employees. Implementing retraining strategies is a crucial solution to enable employees and ensure the businesses will pertain in the future. Thus, skills development strategies are a critical investment for any business looking to change how it operates. The strategy's application might be dependent on sector or employee – reskilling, upskilling, redeploying, or a combination of all.

Plenty of businesses have skilled workers who can retrain with digital skills and a digital transformation strategy to achieve good results. One example is the telecommunications industry, which evolved considerably in past decades – the sector remains based on technologies, but the technologies are constantly changing, and these people and businesses in the industry that are capable of adapting, they stay in business. However, sometimes retraining or reskilling an employee with digital skills might not be realistic; thus the soft skills (or human skills) play a master role in this. Job deconstruction by tasks can crystalize the valuable soft skills, and it comes in handy when a business is trying to foresee the best use of these skills in the future. Soft skills can be used to transform jobs exploiting people's experience in the same business sector (e.g., the insurance industry – the insurance claim agent, whose tasks are taken over by a computer in the broader sense, still have the in-depth knowledge and experience of the insurance claims and can make a good sales representative). Another path could be a cross-sectoral usage of soft skills (e.g., customer service skills with a little necessary reskilling or upskilling can be useful in many areas – healthcare, government sector, etc.).

Set of skills is becoming more critical than the traditional "job description." Breaking up a job into tasks can have a dual effect – first, the clear sight of the functions that can and should be automated using the advanced technologies and a better understanding of which tasks can be done with a people's set of skills. The retraining program or strategy is likely to be more successful when there is a set of skills on one end and a job deconstructed by tasks on the other, and when you link them, you can discover further opportunities.

Want to take actions in your ditization journey but don’t know where to start? Contact our Smart InoTech for Industry experts and get indepth insight on your company’s readiness to innovate and improve.

Contact us:
Innovation expert Vita Urbanavičienė, +370 670 23 009,
Innovation expert Erika Tauraitė-Kavai, +370 603 89 016,

The project Smart Inotech for industry is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. No: 01.2.1-LVPA-V-842 “Inogeb LT”