Bernard Solomon, Head of Applications, Malaysia
Bernard Solomon, Head of Applications, Malaysia

Digital transformation in businesses demands employee ppskilling

Tech October 13, 2017 10:36

By Bernard Solomon
Head of Applications, Malaysia & Head of HCM Applications, ASEAN
Oracle Corporation
Special to The Nation

Today, realizing the value of digitization is not just about picking and choosing technologies, but establishing complete integration inside and outside the organization.



Over the years, we have noticed that dynamic digital architectures and a diverse combination of technologies, processes and people allow organizations to make the most of new opportunities. Simply put, companies today need to move beyond simply using digital tools to thinking, acting and being ‘digital’. To quote Oracle’s CEO, Safra Catz, the hardest part of digital transformation isn’t technology—it’s managing the business through change.

For example, the Internet of Things (IOT) require employees to adapt to connected devices and the changing data visualization that comes with it. While this provides employees with a wider exposure to detailed data, businesses stand to gain plenty as well as they will be able to predict requirements through the supply chain, and access to equipment efficiency data which will also mean lesser breakdowns and predictable outputs. This disruptive technology calls for an urgent need for businesses to upskill its employees, so they can view, track, and analyze issues across multiple mobile devices.

As one of the integral components in digital transformation, talent and workforce management is crucial. The question we should be asking is -- how are we keeping up with technological advances and changes in the organization?

Why is Talent Upskilling Crucial for Thailand?

Thailand is driving the national economy to ‘Thailand 4.0’ where innovation and technology play important roles in the development.  According to the National Statistical Bureau it found that in 2016, there were 374,934 ICT personnel and only 45.6% of those graduated in the ICT field.

Organizations today are realizing the value of competent personnel and uplifting personnel competency internally.  The government through its Ministry of Labour has piloted the 20-year National Strategy Human Resources Framework that identifies visions and missions in multiple levels, i.e. Enhancing Multi-Skill & Re-Skill human resources, Enhancing STEM skill sets in order to smoothly transform to Thailand 4.0 direction.  The ultimate goal of this framework focuses on innovation and creative workforce that add values to organizations.

Although we are still in the early days of automation, artificial intelligence and smart devices, these technologies will only gain traction rapidly as they help companies discover new ways to work faster and more efficiently, helping customers to interact with them in a more fluid way. For the HR department, the challenge will be to ensure employees develop the necessary skills to make the most of new tools and processes.

HR’s Role in a Company’s Digital Transformation

The incorporation of the cloud, mobile, social, big data, and digital consumer experiences into Human Capital Management (HCM) technology is disrupting how organizations manage and engage with their workforce. Today’s modern chief human resources officers (CHROs) are using new ways of managing people to support an agile workplace where people can quickly access knowledge and data to get their jobs done efficiently.

One example is Fuji Xerox (Asia Pacific) - the company was looking to update its own HR operations to help facilitate a widespread organization-wide transformation from a manufacturer of printing devices to a document solutions/services company. This required new employee skillsets as well as a new organizational mind-set. The company was also looking for greater insights into the skills, competencies and aspirations of all employees, especially its high performers.

Fuji Xerox started by aligning its HR transformation initiative to its overall business strategies, followed by reviewing all people-related policies and procedures to ensure consistency across geographic borders. With the support of Oracle’s cloud-based HCM system, Fuji Xerox was able to relieve unnecessary transactional processes and administrative work from the HR team, essentially trimming away the proverbial fat, thus allowing them to focus on strategic work which was imperative to the overall success of the company. It also made it easy for the company to manage employment, positions and jobs, including global assignments, on a single platform.

Transforming Talent into a High-Performing Workforce: Build or Hire Strategy

The ideal strategy for HR depends on which skills and talents are most critical for executing the strategies that achieve the goals of the business. Based on talent evaluations, businesses can decide whether they want to groom existing staff or whether they need to introduce new talent into the fold. The optimal answer might be a combination of both strategies, so companies may want to reassign priorities and timeframes to determine their initial focus.

At Oracle, we have rethought the business of talent management and have designed a system to support HR’s shift from administrative to strategic. Areas such as performance management have been redesigned away from manual tracking of papers, forms, and ratings and moved toward strategic growth and development activity with feedback and ongoing goals. Our Oracle Talent Management Cloud provides end-to-end talent management in a single system so that HR can do the following:

- Drive a strategic, end-to-end talent management strategy with a single, integrated system for all talent-related activities

- Find, grow, and develop key talent with modern talent management

- Align individual goals with corporate goals

- Leverage social media and mobile technology to broaden recruiting reach, generate high-quality employee referrals, and increase employee engagement

Let’s be clear: this isn’t a far-off dream. The tools for employers to get deeper and truer insights about employees are available today. Those that choose to use these will find they understand their staff better and as a result will find ways to get the best out of them.