Everyone ‘ll need digital skills to hold on to jobs – Brad Smith, President, Microsoft

With increasing digitisation of global economies, the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, has advised everyone to retrain or upskill to maintain relevance within the new economy. Coming from a tech wiz, this insightful admonition carries so much weight.

Digital has woven its ways into every aspect of business. Adoption of digital technology gathered pace as complete restraint was placed on human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presently, hardly can business interactions be conducted, from food delivery to corporate meetings or invoicing, without recourse to some forms of digital tech. This has necessitated the adoption of new skills by workers and business owners in a bid to fully integrate operations into mainstream intra and post-pandemic environment.

The Microsoft Chief said, “Fundamentally the responsibility of companies and countries is to make sure that people have the skills to ensure they reap the benefits rather than suffer from the consequences of the changes unleashed”.

Swift external changes have placed tough strains on pre-existing business and social models. Therefore, Business Model Innovation [BMI] has gained prominence across industries. This is because when the pace of external changes is greater than transformation within a business it is only a matter of time before such business loses relevance. This applies to employees job prescriptions.

Laying credence to that fact, Emerald Insight, a research firm, emphasized that the external environment has great implication on business strategies.

“The more competitive the external environment is, the more discussions on what to do on a strategic as well as on a BM level will be initiated”, it explained.

Since unplanned events such as the viral outbreak and the subsequent socioeconomic lockdown have necessitated a new way of living, working and transacting business, adaption must cut across how both personal and corporate activities are being conducted.

Microsoft Inc. is planning to help retrain and train around 25 million people globally through Linkdln, its sister company. The tech company is taking the lead in upscaling global skill bank to forestall the International Labour Organisation [ILO] projection that 1.5 billion people may be put out of job post-pandemic.

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