2020 Digital Transformation Benchmark: Executive Summary

Preparing the Energy Workforce for the Future

The energy and utility industries are in an unprecedented period of digital transformation. Driven by the industry’s need to meet its customers’ increasingly complex energy-related demands as well as respond to a more complex and integrated operational infrastructure and regulatory environment, the pace of change is unprecedented. Companies are expected to interact with and serve their customers and regulators while providing a substantial depth of data and insight to better inform and direct business decisions.

Historically, a workforce that is competent, skilled, and qualified in the foundational components of the work and job tasks has been sufficient. Now, because of digital transformation, new competencies and skills are becoming increasingly critical (e.g., data analytics, operating and maintaining integrated digital systems, automated customer interactions). Being able to engage with customers and identify and manage risk will optimize business performance and maximize shareholder value.

Key insights reported by benchmark participants:

  • Nearly 70% reported that their workforce understood why the digital transformation was taking place and why the transformation was important to their customers.
  • Less than 25% reported that their organization had an in-depth understanding of why the digital transformation was critical to the future success of their company.
  • Less than 30% reported that their employees understood how the digital transformation would impact job roles or the potential depth of that impact.
  • Nearly ALL participants reported anticipating change management challenges in context to the coming digital transformation. However, less than 40% of participants believed that their company was well prepared to handle the anticipated change management needs.
  • Less than 25% reported that their organization was prepared to handle the training component of the expanding digital transformation.

Reported Workforce Challenges

1. Digital transformation will not succeed without an expanded set of employee competencies.
Benchmark respondents consistently reported that an expanding set of employee competencies and skillsets are required for success. Embracing the changes created by the digital age is critical to building and sustaining the “workforce of the future.”

2. New approaches to employee training must be investigated, refined, and implemented.
There is a clear, and very specific gap, between the effectiveness of existing training programs and the requirements of future training programs to build a digitally-enabled workforce.

3. The successful transition to the emerging digital world will demand skilled change management.
Workforce resistance is being experienced by most participating companies. Much of this resistance is being generated by the increased complexity of formerly routine tasks.

4. Carefully orchestrating and managing the prioritization and speed of change is critical for workforce adoption.
Confidence in the depth and pace of digital transformation efforts—specifically in preparing the workforce for transformative change—was absent for all respondents. Many said that their company’s efforts are poorly coordinated and not as proactive as they should be.

Best Practices to Support Workforce Enablement

1. Incorporate change management strategies and best practices at the outset of digital transformation.
Managing your human capital is critical to your ongoing success. The advancement of technology is limited only by our ability to implement it, adapt to it, and drive value.

2. Integrate workforce planning into technology roadmaps.
The identification of new roles, skillsets, and qualifications is a critical component of transitioning to a digitally enabled workforce.

3. Shift training’s goal from teaching people to “know” to teaching people to “learn.”
Creating a culture of learning enables the growth mindset needed to embrace and succeed in the midst of transformative change.

4. Determine the appropriate order and pace of change to enable the success of workforce adoption.
Business priorities, organizational capacity, and achievable goals should drive the pace of change, not just IT timelines and schedules.

For more information about this benchmark study, please contact Rachel Collier at rcollier@themosaiccompany.com.