Digital HRDigital TransformationThe crucial role of HR in digital transformation

The crucial role of HR in digital transformation

As digital transformation takes its toll on the world disrupting all areas on the way we live both inside and outside of work, research has found that HR places a crucial role in ensuring that this is a smooth transition into the digital age. 


When looking forward to the new world of digitalisation, there are many obstacles that businesses must overcome to successfully make a swift journey. One of the most significant challenges is knowledge and training in this specific department. Studies by MHR have found that “Nearly half of business leaders (47%) think a lack of knowledge/training in the digital area is a barrier to a successful digital transformation within their organisation”

And although challenges such as AI threat, cost, and cybersecurity are all further issues, if this new digital world is unknown to business leaders, this could be a huge threat to many businesses. 

“The new digital world has disrupted entire markets with new technologies transforming the way we live and work, so it’s no surprise business leaders are feeling the pressure to digitally transform. But, with the skills gap costing our economy £63 billion a year, there is an urgent need to funnel more efforts into investing in the UK workforce. If we don’t, there is a risk we won’t be able to keep up with the pace of change that is taking place.” said Jason Fowler, HR Director, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. 

However, all though there are many risks that lie ahead if this issue is overcome then this could open up a number of opportunities for the future. 

“To sustain the competitiveness of the technology sector and to drive forward the UK economy, businesses, government and educational institutions need to come together to train and educate the current workforce and the next generation of workers so they are utilising new technologies and are ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Whether this is retraining programmes, apprenticeships, or public-private partnerships, there are many exciting and innovative pathways to ensure that the UK is digitally savvy.” continued Jason. 

“If we want to continue to see the UK as a ‘digital first’ nation we must ensure we are investing in all talent. From the current workforce to those at the very beginning of the journey, by developing the right skills we will be able to support the future digital economy.”

Although there are many in which companies can secure their future through this, digital changes are rapidly advancing which is making it increasingly more difficult for leaders to keep up. As The Open University launched a report finding that 90 percent of organisations admit their staff lack digital skills. Additionally they found that only 28% are looking to hire in digitally skilled talent in the coming years. 

“Organisations must now lay the groundwork to encourage the development of a different mindset. Through higher-level training delivered throughout employees’ careers, the workforce will become adaptable, flexible and multi-skilled, and more able to embrace the digital technologies that will ultimately transform entire industries,” said Jane Dickinson, Digital Skills Lead, The Open University commenting on this report. 

“If we want to continue to see the UK as a ‘digital first’ nation we must ensure we are investing in all talent. From the current workforce to those at the very beginning of the journey, by developing the right skills we will be able to support the future digital economy.”

To ensure that this won’t further heavily impact the digital economy, business leaders must act soon in order to ensure that they are prepared for these rapid changes in digitalisation. And the key solution to this could be learning, investing in training and developing of staff can provide a plethora of benefits both now and for the future. Many businesses are aware of the perks of utilizing this strategy, as the Open University found that “Organisations are planning to spend 13 per cent more on digital training this year than they did in the last, with the average budget increasing from £52,150 to £58,750 across all organisations.”

However although there has been an increased interest learning, 58% of business leaders still believe that their organisation should be investing even more in this cause now and for the future. So although there has been a positive shift in the right direction, it seems that there is still work to be done.

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