We’ve done many digital intensity assessments and technology roadmaps that would justify a critical look at the relationship between digital deployment and employment.
It is true that digitization disintermediates required human activity, not only in many rote work environments, but also in complex, decision-making processes.
It is also true that digital deployment requires a very difficult new step in the identification and recruitment of digital enablers. These people typically do not fit the traditional cultural mode historically found in our capital-intensive industries. So perhaps the greater challenge is not labor disintermediation, but rather to not only identify and recruit a new generation of asset workers, but to adjust the culture of the organization accordingly. In this instance, like in the finance industry, reverse mentoring may be one of the techniques we should think about as the organization culture evolves.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that management must recognize that their starting point is a digital assessment. From there it is for HR to map the workforce of the future.