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Improving digital quotient through digital skilling

Kalyan Kumar, CTO of HCL Technologies, puts forward a skilling strategy that could improve digital quotient and secure the future of companies Improving digital quotient through digital skilling image

Skill obsolesce is increasingly threatening organisational existence across industries. Growing skill gaps are continuously impacting business growth, as traditional skilling strategies are no longer relevant. Businesses are looking to upskill their workforces by utilising the digital quotient. The digital quotient captures the notion of reshuffling skills and rapidly acquiring new ones that are fundamental to success. The digital quotient is the equivalent of IQ for the digital age.

To address skill gaps, business leaders are reimagining silos across every realm of business and technology. Whether it is DevOps or design thinking, businesses are building teams that can expand beyond specialised skills and focus on end-to-end skills and fundamental digital enterprise capabilities to achieve enduring goals.

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Rethinking traditional skillsets

When building teams for any end-to-end process, skills for any particular role typically look a lot different. A system admin may need to know a lot more about development, a developer may need to know about user experience, and a business executive may need to know about cloud computing. The skills to support a digital enterprise are comprised of these new skills along with foundational literacies and character qualities.

Improving a firm’s digital quotient means supporting staff who do not see themselves as living inside of silos. New talent should see themselves as working across departments, continuously stay abreast of latest disruptions in the landscape to engage with their counterparts effectively.

For business leaders looking to use the digital quotient for their organisation’s benefit, there are four key pillars of measuring talent’s success:

Converged Skills for the New Stack: By removing a siloed approach to business, there is now a convergence of skills across business and technology. However, a new set of technology skills must be adopted so that new talent is cloud native, infrastructure and security-aware.

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Foundational Literacies: We must seek to educate our entire workforce to be broadly literate in analytics, finance, IT, and cultural developments. These literacies can build upon existing skills to encourage a broad set of ideas and inspiration for building the products and services of the future.

General Competencies: To create the springboard for innovation and creativity, we must train our staff in new methods of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication for the digital age. Instead of just demanding innovation, we must teach practices like design thinking that synthesise these competencies, and teach them to everyone.

Character Qualities: Finally, the culture must constantly teach and reinforce our staff to think and act according to the highest values and standards. To encourage these competencies, we must honour character traits like curiosity, initiative, persistence, adaptability, and social and cultural awareness.

Preparing for the long road ahead

Fear is the biggest threat to the digital quotient. While the agenda for digital quotient is far too large to be implemented all at once, it is also far too important not to be pursued.

When digital quotients rise, so does business performance, in both technology-focused and traditional business firms. In each of the realms we have discussed, it is important to plan and declare a re-skilling and training vision, then incrementally make progress.

A new form of alignment for training talent will encourage creativity and energy to flow in a coordinated stream. People who have a product focus, broad skills, and deep alignment will indeed support the needs of a digitally advanced organisation. They will also be the people who create the best future for all of us.

Written by Kalyan Kumar, CTO at HCL Technologies

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