Monday, 29 june 2020 | Brenda Rodríguez López
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The DHR Index is an annual report of indicators that intends to measure the level of commitment in the Human Resources area regarding the strategy of digital talent management in companies. This is an initiative which is promoted by the CEU CHR COL-HUB Observatory. The CEU IAM Business School works together with a selected group of HR directors from different leading companies in this entity.
One of the professionals involved in this study is José Morejón Villanueva, Global HR Group Vice-President at Banco Santander, director of our Executive Master’s Degree in Human Resources 4.0 and director of the 2019 DHR Index. We have talked with him about digital transformation, delving into some details of this report and trying to find out what we can expect from its next edition.
According to the latest edition of this DHR Index, Spanish companies are in an intermediate stage in terms of digital maturity. How do you interpret this data?
As I see it, it is a positive sign. More than 200 companies have participated in this report. They were segmented into organizations with more than 500 employees and into smaller organizations as well. It is a very wide range of companies, so it is logical that there is a certain balance between national companies and subsidiaries of large corporations that have their headquarters in Spain. The national segment is on a path of transformation that needs to be eventually overcome. It may seem that many companies are focusing on optimizing the current operations of their business, rather than on improving in terms of future competitiveness. In a way, there might be a fear of breaking tactics and operations, and a lack of will to risk moving forward without seeing what other companies are doing. Simply, the sense of urgency and the need for change are not perceived. In any case, I think it is a balance with a positive trend, and that it is an opportunity, a challenge for improvement that needs to be managed in companies.
Taking into account the results of this report and your professional experience, where do you think Spanish companies should pay attention to advance in terms of Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation should not be considered as a fad. Behind any transformation, there must be a compelling and business reason. This should not be something that you have to do because others do so, and you feel pressured. This transformation must be accompanied by an integral transformation plan at an organizational level. In it, all departments and teams must be aligned. This is an integral project within the company strategy that is driven by the fact that the products and services that organizations offer have an increasingly greater technological component.
Technology must become a business routine that is contemplated in the strategic programs of companies. There must also be a financial approach: a financial analysis of the investment and an ROI calculation for this investment in Digital Transformation. If this result is positive, firms should design roadmaps and strategic plans with deadlines, set several milestones and learn along the way. Therefore, this is a project that calls for an investment, an alignment and that everybody pulls in the same direction.
What has been the data that most attracted your attention in the 2019 DHR Index?
Around 23% of the participants point to the acquisition of new skills and abilities as the main challenge for Talent Management in a digital transformation environment. I expected a slightly higher percentage. Managing a team in a new digital environment requires relying on teams who have the necessary skills and abilities; otherwise you can hardly operate in this new context.
The reports and studies to which we have access are leading in the same direction. Mostly, they point out that 40% and 50% of new jobs that will be created in the near future will come about as a result of technology. They also reflect a range between 30% and 50% of positions that currently have to change and be updated in order to respond to this need for supply and demand. In this regard, there are concepts such as "upskilling" and "reskilling": the need for a more competent trained and prepared workforce. I believe that continuous training is essential, especially in the most in-demand skills across all industries. Practically, we are all looking for the same profiles, regardless of what the sector of our company is.
What do you think about the fact that there is not a clear grasp of the meaning of terms like "Digital Transformation" and "organizational agility" according to this study?
I am not surprised. The meaning of Digital Transformation depends on the significance and depth that you want to give it. What is important is that we need to understand we are in a moment of exponential change. We had better get ready and do something now. Many people understand Digital Transformation as a change taking place in computer systems alone. They consider that it is something related with updating platforms, digitizing projects that already exist or creating apps. This is far away from the concept of digital transformation at an organizational level. In my opinion, Digital Transformation is about seeking a change and constant improvement that enables you to face the challenges today and in the future. I understand this concept as a way to adapt to all levels of the company, so that we can better respond to the needs of the market and customers, and do so with greater flexibility.
Something similar happens with "agility". It is a concept that leads to confusion. To my mind, "Agile" is a way of working, solving problems and putting forward solutions by taking into account a series of characteristics, techniques and methodologies. "Agile" follows a series of principles such as placing the customer at the center and forming multi-departmental and multifunctional teams that manage themselves, work collaboratively and exchange criteria and opinions to move forward quickly and improve products. It is about adopting a new way of working, a new mindset, new values and new behaviors. That requires a different leadership style. A common mistake is placing this kind of team into a traditional organization. That does not work. Agility is a way of working that will bring many benefits, but it also requires in-depth knowledge and knowing when and how to implement it within organizations.