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Digital skills amidst bots and services - a diginomica best-of

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed November 27, 2016
At diginomica, we like to grapple with digital skills and services industry disruptions. We often find ourselves in the middle of debates over the gig economy or work futures. Here's my hand-picked best-of from our coverage of "The new professional and IT as a service."

One of the core themes of diginomica's coverage is reckoning with digital skills demands as automation rises.

Our cornerstone topic page, The new professional and IT as a service, curates the best of that coverage.

We also look at how outsourcers are grappling with the demands digital places. This piece picks high points from our recent coverage - including debates on the future of work and bot-driven automation. I've also got a few "best of the web" picks beyond diginomica.

18 cornerstone topics - curated with readers in mind

Just as a reminder, you can browse all the topic areas by clicking on the menu items directly above. The eighteen topics stem from three areas: Digital enterprise, Cloud apps & processes, and Technology disruptions.

Before I share my picks, here's the criteria for the New Professional cornerstone page:

The as-a-service economy is forcing big changes in professional services. BPO is shifting to digital services and customers expect outcomes – not welcome wagons loaded with consultants. Outsourcing and process automation live on, but buyers want digital partners who deliver more than cost containment. The digital skills gap is a major impediment to digital transformation – and a frequent topic of debate on diginomica. As IT shifts from cost center to IT as a service, CIOs are challenged to think differently about how to serve the business. Use this page as a launching point to learn about the new digital professional, and read field stories about IT services reinvention.

Wipro Digital head talks transformation, inside and out
: Phil Wainewright
quotage: "This is a very level-headed perspective on digital transformation from Rao, demonstrating that Wipro Digital understands its mission and its implications. Whether that’s enough to fulfill the original ambition of seeing the digital business become one of the firm’s top three service lines by fiscal 2018 remains to be seen.

why I picked it: Wipro's acquisition of cloud professional services pioneer Appirio was one of the most interesting buys of the year. Phil's piece on Wipro's digital pursuits sets the table for how outsourcing-focused firms must evolve.

also see: Watch out Accenture, Deloitte – here comes Wip-pirio

An optimistic view of bot driven automation on the future of jobs
: Denis Pombriant
quotage: "Automation does eliminate some jobs but maybe that’s not a bad thing. As we contemplate what to do with the greater freedom the digital disruption will provide, let’s also consider lessons from earlier automation eras."

why I picked it: Pombriant's piece set off a flurry of debate and provoked a monster follow up where he responded to each reader's objections: Still optimistic about the future of jobs in a bot driven world. While I don't share Pombriant's optimism, a well-thought take grounded in historical views is welcome.

also see: Assessing the business impact of chatbots – with Sergey Gribov of Flint Capital and What happens if the Uber fueled gig economy destroys earning potential?

SmashFly and the new world of recruiting
: Brian Sommer
quotage: "Done well, a SmashFly implementation should transform how companies are perceived by jobseekers. It will change how jobseekers are courted and how the organization’s leadership interacts with them days, months and even years before they get hired. It’s not the old want-ad approach to hiring and the differences will require education and reinforcement so that all-new practices replace old, ineffective and irrelevant ones."

why I picked it: The new professional needs a new hiring and recruiting experience. But aside from and perhaps LinkedIn, recruitment technology has failed to transform. That may be starting to change. Brian Sommer, rarely impressed, had good things to say about how a company like SmashFly can help - infusing recruiting with new thinking.

also see: Digital reinvents recruitment – for the third time!, What HR can learn from digital marketing and Can you recruit for diversity with machine learning? A provocative chat with HiringSolved

Diversity programs and how to do them – some tips from tech leaders
: Cath Everett
quotage: "One vendor that has already implemented a supplier diversity programme in more than 170 countries around the world, meanwhile, is IBM – although the firm’s US scheme is by far the most mature. In fact, according to Ross Mandiwall, procurement manager for the UK and Ireland, the company views the scheme as a “strategic business imperative due to the value it adds to the business”.

why I picked it: Everett switches gears in our diversity coverage by examining how service providers are facing this issue - and what enterprises can learn.

also see: British Gas turns up the heat on its Women in Technology network and Competency over Pedigree – Plugging the tech skills gap by giving disadvantaged young adults a chance.

Mapping paths to servitization – can field service lead the way?
: Phil Wainewright
quotage: "In this four-phase view of servitization, moving to a subscription-based consumption model is one example of the traction phase. It enables the manufacturer to stimulate product sales with a different financial model, and it puts them on a pathway to bundling other services into the proposition, before transitioning into a more outcomes-focused model."

why I picked it: We can slice and dice the concept of services in different ways - this piece by Phil examines how ServiceMax defines the fusion of products and services.

also see: Apple – the billion user services company?

Bonus content - you may also want to track my ongoing series on digital skills gaps and transitions. Here's a couple recent ones:

Best of the web - there's a plethora of content on digital skills and the future of work, some of it of dubious value. Here's some resources worth a look:

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