Empowering workforce holds key for companies

Published: 11th May 2016 03:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2016 03:52 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The immense pressure on companies to modernise and digitise their processes in order to survive in a highly disruptive business environment has forced them to focus on IT and Business processes. However, a study has found that companies neglect an important aspect of business transformation - digitally empowering their workforce.

According to a new report from the Centre for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Centre), a Cisco initiative, in the area of people, less than 10% of companies have achieved a level of excellence in three key capabilities of digital business agility: hyperawareness, informed decision-making, and fast execution. All three are held to be foundational capabilities that organisations need to build in employees to survive.

Even worse, only 26% of companies said they have managed excellence in hyperawareness, 23 per cent in informed decision making and 25 per cent in fast execution.

And digital business agility is all important in the modern business environment. Firms with digital business agility in their workforces were three times more likely to characterize their financial performance as “better than average” over the past five years.

“In an effort to battle digital disruptors, many companies have focused business transformation efforts on IT and business processes. Too often, however, they neglect their greatest asset: people,” said the report. “Many of their (companies’) most pressing questions focus on how they can empower their employees through digitization to help them improve decision-making, accelerate innovation, and be more productive,” Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer Kevin Bandy said.

The report said that by neglecting digital workforce transformation, companies are failing to build the capabilities that they will need to succeed in an era of digital disruption. Companies will need to implement digital accelerators that that blend analytics, mobility, and other technologies to empower people.

However, it also cautioned that that technology solutions alone are not the only answer to transforming the workforce. “Digital transformation is rewriting the rules of business and will require a  workforce that is appropriately equipped to work with the speed and agility that this level of change will demand,” said Bandy.

Digital biz agility

Hyperawareness, informed decision-making, and fast execution Less than 10% of companies have achieved a level of excellence Companies with digital business agility in their workforces were three times more likely to perform better financially over the last three years


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