For many years in the IT services business, there was a reasonable amount of demarcation in project execution using technology skills such as Mainframes, Client Server, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and ERP. Projects were getting executed in silos for every Line of Business (LoB) within an enterprise.
However in today’s digital world, there has been a huge disruption of the business model. Boundaries within the businesses are getting blur. For instance, retailers are entering into banking space to enable quick lending, sports companies are entering into consumer wellness, and mobile companies are entering into payments. Enterprises have restructured themselves to capitalize on the synergies within various lines of businesses. Hence, many digital projects need multiple technically-skilled professionals to join hands to deliver these business driven projects.
With the growing demand for Digital Transformation in every industry, there is a scarcity of talent that can work on digital transformation projects. Most of the organizations are focusing on building a talent pool of digital capabilities. Experienced professionals have an opportunity to reboot their careers as digital transformation professionals, since digital transformation is the core focus for ‘change the business’. In the near future, these projects will move to the ‘run the business’ phases. It is thus essential for all IT professionals to gain digital skills and have a clear understanding of the digital technology landscape. There is a need to create digital technology talents at all the levels – right from entry level engineers to the top leadership of an organization.
Though a fair amount of effort is required to technically upgrade skills, many softer aspects play a crucial role. Following are some of the guidelines for making this career transition:
- Get the basics right, stay curious and have a learning mindset:
To become an expert in any field, it is absolutely important to have the basics right. This not only ensures a strong career foundation, but also make up-skill and cross-skill easier. One must be receptive to learn from every interaction with teams, peers, leaders and the experts from a particular field. A learning mindset plays an important role in this transition. As experts say, “Growth stops, as the curiosity to learn more stops”.
- Strong data analysis skills:
Digital solutions play with complex data at the backend. Sensor data in case of Internet of Things (IoT), structured – unstructured – social data integration, web logs, call logs data, image reading and processing, predictive model building are some of the key areas where data analysis plays a very crucial role. In depth understanding of the data, interaction with business experts to gain more insights, data lineage are some of the important focus areas for Digital projects. Hence, it is important for the project teams to collaborate with each other and creatively gather data insights and get bigger picture. Having strong data analytics skills is a must.
- Technology mapping to up-skill to digital:
With all the above mentioned softer aspects, basics in place; a lot of effort must be spent on technological upgrade. It is important to understand digital technology mapping to the current skills.
Following table can be considered for mapping the Current skills to Digital skills for opportunities in the digital world.
Digital space is vast and has many technologies and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products. Above table focuses on few leading technology stacks for mapping purpose. To excel in your field of choice, identify the technology stack and map them against the skills required. Learn those skills to stay in demand and to become an expert.
Available learning platforms:
Technology advancements within each of the Digital technology stack is at the fast pace. It is essential to use all available platforms to get into the new Digital technology. We get easy access to many articles and blogs on social platforms. Spending some time daily in getting technology updates is a must. Online universities, classes, tutorials, certifications, practice platforms, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are available in abundance. One needs to be proactive and leverage these platforms to the fullest and capitalize on every opportunity to move into the digital space.
Remember, digital disruptions have been creating new avenues for growth and enhancements. As organizations are bracing themselves to modernize, individuals too should update their capabilities to stay ahead of the competition.
Practice Director, Digital One, Syntel