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How can businesses ensure their workforce is prepared for digital transformation?

How can businesses ensure their workforce is prepared for digital transformation?

Dr. Freeha Azmat, Course Director - Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship - WMG

The world is becoming the internet of everything. The advancements in software, storage capacity, and processing speeds of devices are exponentially increasing. Our lives are surrounded by gadgets like Alexa and Google assistant that act, learn and adapt without human intervention. Is your business evolving fast enough to deliver the magnitude of change? Has your business adopted the technologies for seamless learning?

The key to success is digital transformation, which is the automation of industrial processes by adopting digital technologies to achieve strategic business advantage. According to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), companies that are digital leaders in their sectors have faster revenue growth, higher productivity and improved profit margins - three times more than their less-digitized peers. MGI also predict that 15% of the global workforce, or the equivalent of approximately 400 million workers, could be displaced by automation or need retraining in the period of 2016 to 2030.

The need for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation will influence all types of industries for example Manufacturing, Engineering, Transport and Logistics, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods. Although digital transformation has started and is being integrated into many companies, there is still a skills gap that can be addressed by education, enabling businesses to attract new talent and equip them with the right skills to do the job.

A report from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute highlights an estimate from manufacturers that by 2020 around 50% of their products will be smart and connected, both indicating and necessitating a requirement to shift production to higher value, advanced technology products and processes. This is in part to make it possible to offer new product-as-a-service and service-based pricing models.

The report also suggests that: “digital technologies are reshaping the manufacturing landscape. Product-based business models are being disrupted by service-based business models, new skills are needed in a world of smart products, and innovation success depends on the effectiveness of a company’s open ecosystem”. The study found that nations who invest in exponential manufacturing technologies and innovation ecosystems will emerge more competitive than those who choose to compete on price alone.

Technical Skills

According to Gartner, “Data scientists hold the key to unveiling better solutions to old problems”. Gartner’s recent survey of more than 3000 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) shows that CIOs ranked Analytics and Business Intelligence as the top differentiating technology for their organisations.

One solution is to incorporate Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeships into the company’s talent development strategies.

From an academic perspective, the conventional degree is about developing knowledge, but degree apprenticeships instil not only knowledge, but also require participants to apply the learning and encourage them to develop the professional skills and behaviours needed by both the individual and their organisations.

Our Solution: New DTS Degree Apprenticeship

At WMG, we offer a four-year Degree Apprenticeship programme in Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) aimed at individuals to provide technology-enabled solutions to internal and/or external customers. The programme covers a range of areas including software, business and systems analysis, data analysis and network infrastructure. Apprentices will implement digital and technology solutions that enable businesses to develop new products and services to increase their organisation’s productivity.

Our Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship delivers a fusion of computer science and engineering underpinning three main aspects from both disciplines: communication, control and computation. Our degree includes modules on cutting edge topics including internet of things, artificial intelligence, industrial vision and processing, business analytics and visualisation, distributed network architectures and cyber security.