This is what corona means for your IT departmentDue to COVID-19, also known as the corona virus, certain tech trends have been shifted into high gear. Others, on the other hand, are being revised. That is happening now, all at the same time. One of the trends that now poses challenges is working remotely. But what does the corona virus mean for your IT department? And how do you respond to the fact that more and more employees will be (mandatorily) working from home? We will tell you all about it in this blog. Good news and less good newsLet's start with positive news first. Because luckily the number of corona infections is decreasing in China! It therefore seems that all the measures taken have had an effect. According to the Chinese health commission, the peak of the epidemic in the country is over. In time, a vaccine will be made available, and this virus will be manageable. But unfortunately, we are also dealing with bad news. And that relates to the present. At the time of writing this blog, there are already more than 200,000 infected corona patients in the world. Media coverage is mainly about people who have died or are sick. But also about fear and panic, cities in lock down, cancellation of flights, cancelled events... and we are not yet even talking about the economic impact, not to mention what it means for our industry. Accelerated IT trends due to coronaThe impact of the corona virus is clearly visible in the IT industry. The demand for chat and video software is huge right now. Various software packages are also being temporarily offered for free to facilitate working remotely. In addition, the Google I/O developer conference has been cancelled, Microsoft decided to turn its annual MVP Global Summit into a virtual conference and Amazon employees are being asked to test their VPN connections in the office, for the sake of preparedness. In fact, a number of industry companies indicate that the corona outbreak is the test case for replacing traditional office work. Twitter thus launched their work-from-home policy. Chief HR Officer Jennifer Christie told BuzzFeed News that the corona virus will have lasting effects on the way their employees now work. For example, she expects people who were reluctant to work from home to become accustomed to it.And managers who thought it was impossible to manage a remote team will find ways to do it. Therefore, it is expected that the trend of decreasing work in the traditional way in the office will now really take off. These are the measures you can take nowDo you have doubts whether your IT department is well prepared for the corona virus? Then you would do well to look at the measures that you can take right now. Consider, for example, providing the necessary hardware such as laptops and telephones. But also look at the software: does everyone have access to the right programs? And what about security? Is there a secure VPN connection? In addition, the continuity of your organization is important. Because what do you do with employees who are a single point of knowledge? If a System Administrator gets sick, is there anyone who can handle that work? One solution that provides continuity in this regard is to work with an external party for support. In doing so, you also build up a knowledge base in the long term, on which you can always rely. When users work from home, you have to realize that the problems that normally occur in the workplace now shift to home. Can they still receive support from the Service Desk? This goes beyond the action instructions to which Service Desk employees were accustomed. Because what do you do if a user, for example, does not have sufficient bandwidth? If you have not yet arranged this, it is certainly not too late. As long as there are staff on the work floor, there is time to organize this properly. For advice on how to deal with the corona virus as an IT department and what it takes to facilitate working remotely, you can contact us by filling the form below without any obligation. Submit your details for free support:
This Is What Corona Means for Your IT Department
Is Your Company Ready To Adopt NextGen Work Models?
As a talent leader, you have probably noticed that today a growing number of Malaysians are opting for alternative models over traditional, full-time, permanent roles. Part-time, contingent, contract, temporary, freelance, independent contractor, on demand online and platform working are on the rise. This development can be called as “NextGen Work”. Businesses and people want choice, flexibility and alternative ways of working that build resilience for less predictable futures. Globally 87% of workers are open for NextGen Work, 80% of workers say that NextGen Work is about learning and using new skills, 90% of Next Gen Workers enjoy it, and 81% of NextGen Workers choose it not because it is the last resort. In Malaysia, the youth is becoming increasingly drawn to the gig economy lifestyle, which is all about freelance gigs and short-term jobs where “giggers” are free to choose where, when and how they work. Mirroring global statistics, 68% of freelancers in Malaysia choose to freelance in spite the availability of full time jobs. This uptake for freelance jobs was reported by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in August 2017 as the Malaysian freelancing economy growth increased by 31%.Why is this uptake you might ask? Well NextGen Work allows you to supplement income over the short-term, provides freedom to explore different roles and develop in-demand skills to be more employable over the long-term. You can also control where, when and how to work, potentially reducing stress and allowing flexibility for Life Work Balance.So, if there is such an increased interest in NextGen work, if your company ready to adopt new work models? Here are initial questions you might want to consider:1. Where to start with NextGen Work Models?If your organization is new to the concept of NextGen Work, it will be useful to try different models in controlled environments. These will present themselves as case studies as to whether to expand the approach or try a different one. It will also be useful to see what types of work models do your current employees prefer. You wouldn’t want to spend time and effort on developing work models that no one wants. If your company has already adopted some forms of NextGen Work, you can start looking at ways to replicate elements of what has worked into new models. For example, if you currently employ contractors, perhaps it will be good to look at freelancers to assist certain projects. 2. How to measure performance of Gig workers? One of the questions we get from employers is how to track performance from someone who works from home for example? Well, for us, performance is determined by results and not by the duration a person spends in a workplace. To adopt NextGen Work models, you should revisit the methods applied in employees’ appraisals and KPI setup activities. You will most likely need to develop individualized performance plans for every employee. It should be based on clear and transparent deliverables for which the employee is accountable for. 3. Are your compensation schemes ready?Just as you are revisiting performance measurement, you will need to tie performance metrics to compensation packages. In many instances this might require a renegotiation exercise with your staff. If done efficiently, this can prove to be a valuable opportunity to increase employee performance, satisfaction, and at the same time reduce costs. For example, a working mother might willingly accept to reduce her basic salary if she works from home since she will be saving on transportation and occasional child day care services. Basically rewarding staff should be based contribution rather than other factors such as title, or tenure.4. Do you have the necessary infrastructure to support the new work models? NextGen Work is enabled by technology. Adopting new work models will require your organization to have an IT infrastructure that can support this transformation. Cloud services for file sharing and collaboration will be of paramount importance. Applications that will enable performance measurement and remote access to internal databases will definitely be another consideration. All of that should be covered with solid Cyber Security policies and tools. 5. What is your leaders’ sense of urgency? A key question to address if you want to initiate and change process. Without the leaderships’ buy in, it will be unlikely to transform such a critical component of any organization. Chances are, if your organization has no forms of NextGen Work models so far, your leaders are probably lacking the sense of urgency. So you will have to spend some time to develop a compelling case to convince them with your plan. Answering the above questions will give you an indication of where your company stands and where are the gaps that need to be addressed prior to initiating new work models. Providing access to the labor market. Filling the void of career guidance. Boosting incomes. Supplementing pensions. Providing labor market mobility for people and business. Offering life-work balance for long careers. Nurturing learnability. Preparing people for disruption from technology, automation and globalization. Developing in-demand skills, on-the-job. This is why people are choosing NextGen Work. And this is why business leaders and policy makers must collaborate to find the best balance of flexibility and responsibility. To know more about NextGen Work models, visit: https://www.manpowergroup.com/workforce-insights/world-of-work/gig-responsibly-the-next-gen-at-work
How Digitally Mature Is Your Company?
Realizing the importance of digital transformation for your company, we developed the Digital Evolution Pathway assessment. It is a tool to help your company benchmark where you are in the digital transformation journey.Value of Digital TransformationEvery organization and every person has been impacted with the digital disruptions over the last decade. Companies, big and small from the east and to the west are on a digital transformation journey. We have no doubt technology opens doors for you to endless opportunities. It changes the way you build relations with your clients, execute strategies, set business frameworks and much more. Efficiencies are demonstrated across all business sectors and operational units with many ROI case studies. It is no surprise that 87% of companies believe that digital transformation is a competitive opportunity. So in 2020 you have probably no question over whether digital transformation is the right thing to do. But you are probably asking yourself how quickly and effectively your company can achieve it.You are not alone. Back in 2016, 85% of enterprise decision makers felt they had a timeframe of two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors. Transformation Cycles Digital transformation is driving new value for customers and employees, enabling them to be more competitive because they are more adaptive and able to anticipate their circumstances by leveraging both internal and external data differently.In the industrial revolution, it took industry about 30-years to fully realize the value of transformation. When computers entered the workforce, it took about 10-years. Those cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. With big data, connected enterprises and digital threads the environment will become even more complex, but richer data and insights will drive innovation, efficiencies and ultimately ROI for companies that have successfully transformed.Digital Transformation Touch Points The potential areas for your company to impact with digital transformation are virtually endless. It is an integrated approach that combines software, data, interfaces and controls to design, model, simulate, analyze, control, share and manage the creation, delivery and performance of your products and services. So evolving through this journey involves the strategy, culture, technology and embedded processes within your organization. That will touch every aspect of your company, and become the way that it functions. Digital Evolution Pathway AssessmentWith a holistic understanding of what organizations need to transform, we realize the progression needed to accelerate Digital Transformation. Organizations must take note of where they are in their digital transformation so that they can identify and address their gaps to achieve ROI more quickly.We developed the Digital Evolution Pathway assessment to help you benchmark where is your company in the digital transformation journey, with Workforce Transformation as a critical enabler.Organizations must understand the underlying skills and behaviors needed at each stage of maturity.Backed with that information we can assist you with all aspects of talent strategy, from workforce planning, to assessing and upskilling leaders and individuals, to connecting your company with the skills needed to accelerate innovation.By benchmarking your organizations’ digital maturity, we offer practical advice on how to transform Strategy, Culture, Practices and Technology. Take your assessment now: https://www.digipathway.com/
Are Investments in Automation and IT Replacing Human Jobs?
Robot workers replacing human jobs – the debate of the decade. All around the world companies and individuals alike are concerned with the impact of automation on the future of work. In Malaysia chances are 11- 54% of current jobs will significantly affected in the next two decades by automation. However, we have good news for you. Our global research shows more employers than ever, 87%, plan to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation. Rather than reducing employment opportunities, organizations are investing in digital, shifting tasks to robots and creating jobs. At the same time, companies are scaling their upskilling so their human workforce can perform new and complementary roles to those done by machines.Companies that are digitizing and investing in IT technologies are growing. That growth is producing more and new kinds of jobs. Those organizations that are already automating tasks and progressing their digital and IT transformation are also most confident of increasing headcount. 24% of those companies say they expect to create more jobs in the next two years.Only 12% of those that are automating say they will reduce headcount, while 3% are not sure what the future holds.However, as you might expect, while overall employers are looking to increase their employment, automation is changing the skills companies need from workers. It is estimated for example that in Malaysia 80% of the jobs at high risk of being displaced by technology are those that are semi-skilled.For example, our report shows that the demand for IT skills is growing significantly and with speed. 16% of companies expect to increase headcount in IT - five times more than expect a decrease. Meanwhile the availability of tech talent is increasingly scarce, and the education and experience employers require versus what exists is presenting a mismatch. This reality is as true in Malaysia as around the world. So what does this mean to your organization? Chances are you have experienced a very urgent need to ensure there are highly-skilled workers capable of driving innovation and supporting your company’s future. With talent shortages at a 12-year high, and new skills appearing as quickly as old ones disappear, more companies are planning to build talent than ever before, and this is projected to increase by 2020. Companies are realizing they can no longer expect to find just-in-time talent, on tap. We found that 84% of organizations globally expect to be upskilling their workforce by 2020. Interestingly, demand for tech and digital skills is growing across all functions, yet employers place increasing value on human skills as automation scales and machines prove better at routine tasks. While 38% of organizations say it is difficult to train in-demand technical skills, 43% said it is even harder to teach the soft skills they need such as analytical thinking and communication.So if you want to really compete in the Skills Revolution, you need to promote a culture of learning, provide career guidance and offer short, focused upskilling opportunities. People need to know how to prepare for high growth roles of the future and that their employer supports their learning to stay relevant in this rapidly changing world of work.
How To Attract The Right IT Talent
If you’re a hiring manager recruiting for specialist IT talent, you’ll know that it’s a tough market globally in Malaysia specifically to find the right candidates for your organisation. This is a problem for organisations of all sizes, but affects large firms in APAC the most, with organisations of 250+ across the globe facing more than twice as much difficulty filling roles as micro organisations. The reasons behind this struggle are varied, but 31% highlight a lack of applicants as one of the biggest challenges, and 13% say candidates are expecting more than what businesses are prepared to pay.So for you to attract the right talent, you should start to remove barriers and plan for a different approaches to the talent pipeline:Remove Unnecessary Qualification BarriersWe noticed that a high percentage of organisations in Malaysia have traditionally required a university degree or diploma as a basic requirement for all roles. But as the "common" view of what a good education looks like changes, so too must the requirements for new hires. With that in mind, now is a good time to reassess your qualification criteria. For example, does it really matter whether your Cyber Security specialist went to University if they have all the necessary IT and Cyber Security training?This isn’t about recruiting less qualified talent – it’s about opening up your talent pool to avoid missing an often overlooked set of candidates.Look At Alternative Talent PoolsReview your existing team demographics, age range and diversity. Are there any groups which are missing? 29% of organisations in APAC, are looking to target different talent pools to those they have traditionally recruited from, focusing on widening the breadth and depth of individuals they’re pulled from.As well as giving you access to previously untapped talent pools, increasing the range of backgrounds your talent comes from can help improve employee performance, encourage creativity and drive innovation.To help avoid subconscious bias when looking to increase the diversity of your team, it’s worth considering a blind CV approach – removing a range of details where appropriate to the role; from the candidate’s name, to academic and education details, to their criminal record.Upskill Your Existing TalentFor many of the roles you’re looking to recruit for, it’s possible that you may already have the talent you need sitting right under your nose. With skills development being one of the highest ranked drivers for employees in the workforce, assessing individuals for existing capabilities and transferable skills could be a winning combination – helping to retrain your existing talent and upskill them to plug skills gaps and retain them in your business for longer.Over half of businesses globally are investing in learning platforms and development tools to build their talent pipeline, up from just 20% in 2014. It’s clear that businesses in APAC are already taking this approach as 4 out of 10 employers in APAC are investing in learning platforms and development tools to build their talent pipeline, only 1% lower than in 2016. This approach can also apply to looking externally for talent. Whilst it will require some investment in time and training, looking for transferable skills and learnability in a candidate can help you to access otherwise untapped talent. For example, training programmes or cources in coding bootcamps from academies such as The Next Academy helps individuals with the relevant coding based foundation training and allowing them to show their potential to learn and progress in the space.Improve Pay and/or BenefitsIt is no secret, pay and benefits continue to be one of the key motivators for talent, particularly for specialist roles in areas such as IT. If your organisation is competing with other businesses with strong employer brands for the same talent, then a relatively quick fix is to compare your salaries with those offered by the competition. It’s also worth looking at whether the benefits that you’re offering appeal to alternative talent pools. Which incentives could you offer to target specific groups of individuals that you’re not currently reaching? With 22% of organisations in APAC looking to improve benefits like increased holiday and new joiner and well-being incentives, this is certainly becoming a popular option.Hiring a new starter can be a long and expensive process, so it pays to get the right person on-board first time. From psychometric tests, 360 interviews, to new generation tools like big data scraping, social network analysis and gamification, organisations need to move away from biased intuition, to data based decision making.If you need help in attracting the right IT talent to your organisation, get in touch today.