What You Need to Know about Digital Skills

Today’s business world, across a variety of industries, continues to value digital skills more than ever. That emphasis on digital skills and technology has only continued to grow as the global workforce attempts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and a return to the ‘new normal.’ However, that focus on digital skills for employees is not likely to wane anytime soon, even as we emerge from the global pandemic.

Due to big data, increasingly accelerated changes to technology, and new employee expectations regarding flexibility in the workplace, digital skills will be an important factor for the future of work.

The New Normal

Though digital literacy was once a niche skill, that is no longer the case. Basic digital skills, and even some more advanced ones, are now the cornerstone of many workplaces. A base level of digital literacy (i.e., Internet use, e-mail use, basic functions of Microsoft Word or Excel programs) is nearly universally required at many workplaces.

Digital skills are no longer restricted to so-called ‘white-collar’ positions; instead, nearly every position, from a basic entry-level job in a retail environment to an extremely sophisticated leadership position in a technology field, requires a basic level of digital literacy. Frequently, more advanced digital skills are an expected component of career advancement in nearly every field. 

As you navigate the new normal of digital literacy, you might wonder which digital skills are the most important as you seek to advance in your current field or perhaps even as you look for a new position. These are just a few of the digital skills areas likely to see a continuous increase in demand over the next several years.

Mobile Skills

mobile phone use

Mobile phones have become much more important in the past several years, transforming from a device primarily used to make calls to something significantly more complex. Today, mobile phones are miniature computers first, cellular devices second.

We do everything with our cell phones today, from accessing the Internet and making purchases to checking our e-mail and even editing documents. In fact, it is more common for people to use their mobile phones to access the Internet than it is for them to use a desktop computer. That means businesses will need to appeal to mobile-savvy consumers by making their websites and transaction process as mobile friendly as possible.

And with Generation Z (digital natives who grew up with this type of technology all around them) entering the workforce, the prevalence of mobile technology in the consumer marketplace will only increase. For businesses looking to improve their marketing in the digital era, it is important to employ a workforce with skills that will translate to a better customer experience on a mobile platform.

Businesses need to stay on top of new trends to survive. The digital world is always changing, and staying in the public eye necessitates keeping apps and mobile sites relevant and easily accessible.

Security First

Though less exciting than the design and development skills used to create apps and mobile sites, keeping these technologies secure is an important aspect of keeping a loyal customer base. Security is not a luxury for customers; rather, customers expect high levels of security from any business they frequent, especially if the majority of that business is conducted online.

You must have a skilled security team working with your business to keep customer personal information secure on all platforms. Outside of your business’ websites and mobile apps, online security is a must for employees as well. Security threats continue to become more and more sophisticated as technology develops, so your workforce must have a basic understanding of online security and how to protect themselves and the business. Even clicking on a simple e-mail link could potentially compromise your business’ entire system.

Big Data and Analysis

In today’s world, businesses have access to an unparalleled collection of personal data that can tell you more than you ever thought was possible about your client base. You can access information about how customers make purchase decisions, what marketing strategies drive the most customer engagement, and when customers like to shop, if you know how to access and harness it.

Data analysis is an important part of keeping your business competitive, and it’s not just about your customers. You can collect data about everyday processes in your business as well, which can help improve overall efficiency and even save your business money when used to make improvements.

To ensure you can use all of that data properly, it is important to employ workers who understand how best to collect and process that data. Otherwise, your business may miss out on important information that can be used to create new content or advertising campaigns, improve daily operations, and help you predict future trends.