The Digital Transformation. An Opportunity for the Future of Everyone’s Work.

In the photo, on a blue background, the silhouette of a man's head drawn as if it were a grid.

Digitalization is today one of the most popular players in innovation in the workplace, and one of the central focus of initiatives to stimulate productivity. Just think of the potential of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and of Big Data; of robotization, augmented reality and of the Internet of Things; of the Cloud and of Blockchain. Digital technologies offer incredible possibilities. On a practical level, however, scholars and philosophers stimulate us to deepen our awareness of the digital revolution.

To import these powerful technologies into organizations (private, public, etc.) implies some changes regarding the type of work that takes place, and the way in which it is carried out and thought. Professional figures are emerging, non-existent until a few years ago, who are gaining extreme relevance; as in the case of the hard-to-find Big Data analysis experts.

Many existing professions are maturing, evolving and reinventing itself by taking advantage of the new solutions and possibilities that digital offers. There are many others that instead, for obsolescence, will get lost. For these professions, the effects will have to be taken into account, in the short to medium term, on the balance of the labour market.

This is particularly true in Italy, which is significantly below the European average in the diffusion of digital technology skills (see European DESI Index). The risk to be considered is that you can split the workforce between those who have a profession with prospects for digital growth and those who do not. The consequence would be an exacerbation of social inequalities. It becomes important for those involved in work to think about digital training which is as generalized and inclusive as possible, to build a company entirely capable of transforming and innovating.

But the revolution does not only have to do with technology-related skills. Digitization urges the entire society to deeply rethink the“future of work”. The World Economic Forum offers some food for thought with the report “Future of the Job 2018”, in which identifies the skills that will become most relevant by 2022. These include the analytical and innovative thinking and complex problem-solving, that can help us in synergy with technologies. We also see the creative capacity, initiative and originality, critical thinking and active learning strategies, useful to give the best in less “operational” activities and more added value (in fact, skills such as memory, manual dexterity, calculation skills and others lose importance).

Finally, leadership skills become relevant, of social influence and emotional intelligence, that add a particularly interesting facet. Digitization, changing the content and manner of the work, highlights human relationships, our ability to collaborate effectively and coordinate people. It therefore challenges us to open ourselves up to the other and to explore the most human singularities.