New technologies and the ongoing development of existing technologies carry the potential for progress in your organization. Alongside Strategy and Innovation, Strategic Workforce Planning is responsible for turning the potential into results.
The McKinsey Digital Technology Trends Outlook 2023 is a high-level but valuable source to identify early signs relevant to your business. Developing a detailed plan for your organization requires a technology foresight tool that gives you reliable numbers that justify significant investments. But as the time and resources needed for such a plan should not be neglected, why not get active and creative based on trustworthy, more general information?
We dived into the details of McKinsey Digital’s report and extracted the four technology trends of 2023 that deserve the most attention from strategic workforce planners.
Applied AI and generative AI can impact any area in an organization, at the forefront is innovation, operations, customer service, marketing, and human resources. The roles that are likely to feel it first include data scientists, engineers, analysts, designers, developers, managers, consultants, and trainers. The impact can be immediate or long-term, depending on the speed and level of adoption.
What can HR do about it? HR can weigh in on the development of a clear AI strategy for the organization. One that aligns with its business goals and values. HR can offer support to IT in finding the right people to build a robust data infrastructure that enables data collection, storage, and access. HR can approach leadership to jointly improve a culture of experimentation and learning that fosters innovation and collaboration. On a more individual level, HR needs to ensure that AI/ML expertise is available in the organization, including data science, machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning, etc. However, domain knowledge, business acumen, communication skills, and ethical awareness should not be overlooked.
Next-generation software development can impact areas such as product development, IT, business analysis, project management, and quality assurance. Look out specifically for software engineers, developers, testers, architects, product owners, scrum masters, and business analysts. The timing of the impact depends on the availability and accessibility of low-code or no-code platforms and tools in the organization.
What can HR do about it? It is not HR’s role to guarantee that their organization’s flexible and agile software development process supports rapid prototyping, testing, and deployment. Or design a modern IT architecture that leverages cloud computing, microservices, APIs, etc. However, HR can create a talent strategy that attracts, retains, and develops software engineers and developers with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Besides software engineering skills, such as programming languages, frameworks, or tools, HR should advocate for including design thinking, problem-solving, and customer-centricity skills.
Trust architectures and digital identity can influence security, compliance, governance, risk management, and data management. The first roles to look at include security engineers, analysts, auditors, compliance officers, data stewards, data engineers, and data scientists. The timing of the impact is defined by the complexity and sensitivity of the data and systems in the organization.
Bioengineering affects foremost the areas of research and development, manufacturing, supply chain, quality control, regulatory affairs, and sales and marketing. Hence, the first roles to look at are bioengineers, biologists, chemists, technicians, operators, quality inspectors, regulatory specialists, sales representatives, and marketing managers. The timing of the impact can be long-term and uncertain, depending on the pace and direction of bioengineering innovation and regulation in the industry.
What can HR do about it? For bioengineering, an organization needs to have a strong research and development capability that enables the discovery and development of new bio-based products and services, a scalable and sustainable manufacturing capability that ensures the quality and safety of bio-based products and services, and a market-oriented capability that understands the customer needs and preferences for bio-based products and services. Skills needed in bioengineering, such as biology, chemistry, biotechnology, or bioinformatics, are equally important as B2B or B2C marketing skills in all domains from product development and pricing to branding and promotion.
These are the four technologies from McKinsey’s technology trends outlook which currently show the most rapid progress. For your organization, other technologies may be more relevant. If you are interested in a more detailed analysis, have a look at our Global Technology Impact tool.