Who will do it – talent and technology
The digital revolution will disrupt everything we take for granted today about how work is done. For leaders who fail to embrace this new reality, the old mantra “Our people are our greatest asset” could become “Our people are our biggest problem.”
IA must incorporate emerging technologies (robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.) as part of its new operating model. This will also allow a variety of dynamic outputs to be utilized on a more real-time basis to deliver feedback based on the needs of different stakeholders.
These new technologies require new skills and, importantly, new ways of working. Just employing people with different skills, or upskilling existing employees, is not the answer. To compete with disruptive startups, organizations need people with a different approach and attitude to their work.
A new workforce model, enabling IA to focus on purposeful, value-added work will be required. These changing workforce dynamics will require IA audit to develop a more flexible, adaptive and collaborative work environment.
The IA profession has a unique opportunity to embrace digitalization and lead by example. While it is a journey to get to the future state of the IA profession, it is one that must be started now.
The following are some key steps IA should take now to lay the foundation:
- Understand the organization’s objectives and future vision
- Define the future state for IA with a clear purpose and a mandate that aligns to the organization’s and enables the company to achieve its strategic objectives
- Assess the current IA operating model, resource model and technology footprint to determine how they will enable the future state of IA
- Review the IA life cycle to identify opportunities to automate and innovate to better position the function as a strategic advisor
As the foundation is solidified, IA should take the following actions to continue to drive to its future state:
- Build a business case to demonstrate IA’s capabilities and its evolving role with digitalization and communicate it broadly and often to stakeholders
- Drive efficiencies in financial and compliance risk coverage to free up resources and time to focus on strategic risks and the future state of the function
- Start a process of transformation — technology development and deployment, skills sourcing, branding initiatives — to move toward the future state of IA
- Remain aligned with the changing business so the function flexes with the changing vision and objectives of the organization