Leading Through Disruption

15 November 2017
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What’s Driving the Fundamental Shifts in the Technology Industry?

Within the last decade the technology industry has not only continued to achieve unprecedented growth, but has witnessed tremendous advancements in digitization, digital hardware and other areas. These rapid changes present tremendous opportunity; however, if corporations do not take advantage of these changes, they will quickly become obsolete. Through recognizing the key forces driving these advancements,  technology corporations can make rapid changes and prepare for future success. Understanding the key disruptors of change is the first step, but organizations also have to understand how technological shifts are changing their workforce so that they can take the appropriate steps to better manage their employees.

 

In this first publication from Mercer’s Technology vertical, Mercer experts draw on both their experience within the industry and their research and strategic observations with HR leaders, to present the key disruptors of the tech industry.  From here Mercer identifies what is called the ‘Trifecta of Transformations’ which outline the changes HR leaders must understand if they are to make strategic decisions and ensure future success as seen below:

Transformation of work

  • Augmentation of work
  • Creation of new work
  • Rise of autonomous work 

Transformation of the workforce

Transformation of People Management

  • Building tomorrows people managers
  • Talent strategies and priorities 

The paper concludes by identifying the implications for business and HR leaders, highlighting how to lead, thrive and build tomorrow’s technology workplace today.


Re-skilling for the future

Because we will rely on an ever-increasing number of technologies in the future, it is important for our workforce to represent a broader understanding and expertise instead of consisting of specialists who are “frozen in time,” only understanding and able to contribute to one area. As intelligent systems take over specialized tasks and activities, the demand for expert roles in the technology industry, such as network administrators and development engineers, is giving way to full-stack engineering capabilities that prioritize breadth over depth in expertise, through cross training and developing an ability to work across disciplines, and the ability to execute faster.

 

Successful, agile organizations in the technology industry have driven the shift from “I” shaped specialists to “E” (experience, expertise, exploration and execution) or “M” (multiple specialties) shaped experts. With changes in software architectures, team structures have also evolved, as smaller teams can now function autonomously without excessive communication and coordination.

 

Across the organization, stronger digital competencies are critical as workplaces grow more intelligent. Given ever-increasing cybersecurity threats, tomorrow’s workforce must manage information securely, avoid security breaches and be able to react quickly when a breach does occur. Social skills that enable productive human interactions, such as listening, persuasion and teaching, will become more critical in many roles. Without a ready, re-skilled workforce — one that can function and thrive in the new environment — the promise of technological benefits will not be fully realized.


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