Les Echos: It’s not technology that will reshuffle the cards; it’s talent and their fulfilling their   potential

Les Echos: It’s not technology that will reshuffle the cards; it’s talent and their fulfilling their potential

Discover the article by Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan that appeared in Les Echos on April 27, 2014.

Digital advances are currently creating real ruptures: ruptures of usage, of business models, of market rules.

Consumers are generally the first to change their behaviors, causing considerable transformations in practices and their digitalization.

With these ruptures, an idea is appearing: machines are going to replace humans.

Technology is going to force certain jobs to disappear, and it will transform all that remain.

It is clear that as occurred with previous ruptures, including that termed by Jeremy Rifkin as the “Third Industrial Revolution” of new information and communication technologies, technology is going to take over certain jobs and make them disappear.

Certain fields will be more affected than others, such as retail and manufacturing.

But above all, the digital rupture will seriously transform all professions within a company, and it will bring along a host of new jobs (customer experience manager, data scientist, content curator…) that must be integrated and adapted inside of the enterprise.

It’s a big challenge: bringing digital change to all positions will not provide any competitive advantage to companies, but it may permit them to avoid disappearing.

The rise of digital: a creative destruction that is going to recenter enterprise value on human capital

The company must also structurally modify its traditional ways, evolve its techniques and its position on the market in order to adapt to the new digital reality that has been imposed on it.

But evolving techniques and market position happens first and foremost by evolving jobs.

The technologies and new practices linked to the digital emergence are going to demonstrate a very strong shift in enterprise value onto human capital: the company’s employees.

The transformation of IT is one priority

Although it has until now been considered as a support function, IT is going to be positioned as a true business partner, becoming the cornerstone of digital innovation within the enterprise by:

  • co-innovating with employees from different departments in order to accelerate the digital shift of the business

  • constructing new offers and new products.

  • optimizing the financial costs of these initiatives that aim toward a digital shift.

Marketing jobs will shift toward a client-based orientation thanks to the growing importance of data.

Marketing and operational processes must also be organized around data and jobs centered on customer insight:

  • by putting in place a unique and centralized database of customer knowledge within existing information systems.

  • by integrating psychology into customer-oriented jobs in order to analyze social data from clients and determine new client segments.

However, this job transformation is not yet fully in place. 56% of employees are not convinced by the training being offered to accompany the digital transformation (TNS Sofres data, January 2015).

Human resources, the key to this digital transformation, or, the strategy of “Digital In, Digital Out”

Successfully transforming jobs in order to integrate digital resources begins by positioning those digital resources at the beginning of the process.

In order to assist employees in the evolution of their professions, the use of big data can considerably aid those working in human resources.

Providing inspiration from fields or areas where the digital world has already been well-established and better understanding these employees’ realities by analyzing their data are dimensions that allow for an increased level of personalization and better targeting of pathways adapted to employee needs, in order to ultimately help them evolve towards the digital future.