6 Key Takeaways From Our Digital Trends 2017 Event – Brisbane
‘Innovation’ and ‘trends’ are two words constantly thrown around in the digital community, so much that it can become difficult to filter through the haze of buzz words to understand the real progression in the digital world. With so many uncertainties around where the industry is heading, it was refreshing to hear insights at last week’s Women in Digital. Libby O’Brien (Head of Digital (Corporate) for Flight Centre), Ivan Storr (CEO & Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Robotics), and Eve McCormack (Group Digital Director at Ikon Communications) joined us to discuss what this year has in store for digital.
We may have slower internet than most of the world, but Australia and New Zealand are starting to see the industry trends taking place, with Chief Information Officers increasing digitisation in their companies by 2%. But don’t be fooled – not all of them are doing it for the good of the industry, some just love the profit it gives them.
While this is promising, we need to lift our game as Australia invests only 1.8% of what America does in emerging technology. This is alarming when 40% of Australians in 10 years will need to realign themselves for a digital workplace.
Change is coming anyway
We’re not talking about predictions with digital anymore, these are real trends that are already shaping industries. While this can be scary, businesses should embrace it and make it an advantage of their organisation.
This requires a change within all organisations to deem what they ethically agree with, and then develop products to reflect this belief.
What about jobs, jobs, jobs?
The J-word. It’s what every politician talks about and every university graduate worries about.
If Australian jobs are up for grabs by our robot counterparts, does that mean we’re all going to lose our jobs?
This is a very real fear for many Australians, particularly those working in industries already feeling the pinch from digital innovation. However, in Europe the public discourse of fear has left because citizens have seen that the digital climate has created a lot more jobs than it’s taken away.
While it’s difficult to understand what exactly is going to happen with careers, the panel inspired everyone that this should be embraced.
The workforce needs to transition into an environment where meaningful skills such as creativity and leadership are pursued by employees. This will see paper pushing tasks given to computers. Employees need to refine these skills to exhibit their value in the workplace.
People will be operating on a higher level, their jobs entailing the supervision of robots rather than their organisation firing them and having to retrain them when months later when the system needs help. This is where change management is key: to ensure communication is constant and all levels of the organisation are aware of, and comfortable with, the changes.
Even in media (where the digital transition has been heavily felt with traditional mammoths like TV budgets shifting to spending on new platforms like Facebook) people are still essential for the successful running of agencies. This is because robots need humans; even programmatic campaigns are run and optimised by people.
Thriving, not just surviving
We may not all be as knowledgeable as Siri, but there are definitely ways we can prove our worth to employers.
The panel shared that they are looking for less definite skill sets, and are more interested in an interviewee’s approach to work, adaptability and willingness to learn as employers are no longer looking for experts.
This is because what you’re skilled in will change; your ability to adapt to environments is more important.
Your human ability to create meaning and actionable outcomes based on context and learning provides you with a set of tools that the rising tide of autonomy can’t compete with.
Portfolio careers are going to be increasingly important as people build their skill sets from their experience gained.
It will more frequently become the norm to indulge a hobby while doing your day job. These passion projects will see more people opting for flexible career paths where they can work across multiple income streams, building up a diverse skill set, and learning to be flexible.
In the scheme of things, the reason this digital innovation should be embraced, not feared, is because the value that we bring as humans ensures our stability through creative and curative activities.
If one thing is certain about the uncertain future, it’s that the digital evolution will keep us on our toes innovating and creating to enhance our careers.
Written by Jaleesa Simpson