Les Echos : It isn’t technology that changes the playing field, but talents and their potential.

Les Echos : It isn’t technology that changes the playing field, but talents and their potential.

The expert article of de Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan published in Les Echos, on the 27th of April 2015.

Digital technology is creating a real break. A break in uses, a break in business models, and a break in market rules.

Consumers, by the way, are the first to evolve in their behavior, which considerably changes practices and makes them more digital.

With this break, an idea spreads: machines will replace people.

Technology will make some jobs disappear, and it will transform all the others.

Obviously, just as with sharp breaks in the past, including the recent “Third Industrial Revolution,” so named by Jeremy Rifkin to designate the development of "new information and communication technology," technology will still prevail over some jobs and make them disappear.

Some fields will be affected more than others, such as retail and production, for example.

But above all, the break created by digital technology will greatly transform all of a company’s jobs, and bring with it a number of new jobs (like customer experience manager, data scientist, content curator, etc.) which will need to be included in order for the company to adapt.

The stakes are high: making the leap to digital technology won't give companies a competitive advantage, but will instead keep them from disappearing from the landscape.

The rise of digital technology: a creative destruction that will redirect the value of companies to human capital

Therefore, the company must structurally modify its traditional operation, to develop its practices and market position, to adapt to the new digital reality that is being imposed on it.

But for a business to change its practices and position, first and foremost it needs to change its jobs.

Therefore, the technology and new practices related to growth of digital technology will strongly refocus the value companies place on human capital: their employees.

Transforming IT is one of the priorities.

Considered just a support function until that time, it will have to position itself as a true business partner and become the cornerstone of the company’s digital innovation:

  • co-innovating with employees from various departments to accelerate the company’s digital transformation by building new offers and products

  • optimizing costs to fund initiatives that will move towards digital

Marketing jobs will be transformed into customer orientation jobs by the increasing importance of "data."

The marketing and operational processes need to be organized around data, and jobs around client knowledge:

  • implementing a single, centralized client knowledge framework in existing information systems
  • integrating psychology with client knowledge jobs in order to analyze customers’ social data and deduce new customer segments.

However, the transformation of jobs hasn’t taken place yet. 56% of employees are not convinced by the training options offered to support the transformation to digital technology (figure from TNS Sofres, January 2015).

Human resources, the keystone of the digital transformation, or the "Digital In, Digital Out" strategy

Success in transforming jobs to incorporate digital actually happens by positioning digital technology itself at the source of the process.

To support employees in the evolution of their jobs, the use of Big Data can help human resources considerably.

Drawing on career paths that already exist in areas where digital is already in place and understanding the reality of employees better by analyzing their data are both aspects that encourage customization and better target career paths suitable for employees to evolve towards digital.

Read the article on Les Echos