Democratization of technological and data-driven enterprise are themes that are on everyone’s lips. We’ve seen how top-down transformation, directed by business leaders working together with data scientists on strategically-aligned initiatives has the potential to create efficiencies, better understand business processes and predict problems before they occur. At least, if you are one of the still small number of businesses which is managing to do so successfully, you have.
But imagine how much greater the potential for change could be if it could spontaneously emerge anywhere in an organization. When everyone has access to the tools, skills and knowhow to harness tech to do their job better, or drive efficiencies, then a workforce looks better equipped to deal with the challenges of the future.
This thinking is shared by Infor CEO Charles Phillips – and was the driving force behind the software company’s decision to establish its Educational Alliance Program. The initiative involves rolling out its training program into colleges and leveraging its customer and partner networks to supply students with placements and, eventually, jobs. The philosophy is that tech and coding vocations should be positioned more like trades than elite, white collar professions. Given the move towards platform infrastructure and as-a-service toolsets, it is no longer necessary to have an Oxbridge or Ivy League academic background in computer science or statistics to effectively drive data-driven transformation within an organization. It’s just a question of getting that message out there to IT, tech and STEM students or professionals who may be wondering what their next move should be, to ensure they are viably skilled for a place in the workforce of tomorrow.
Infor CEO Charles Phillips tells me “Our assumption is that pretty much every business is going to become a digital business to some degree. So even if you’re not a computer science or tech major, you need some exposure to learn how to use and apply technology.
“You should be learning this in college, and then you’re going to be a much better contributor no matter what you do.”
There’s also an understanding that there’s a lot more to tech than coding – a wide range of other skills are becoming valuable within any organization with a digital agenda, such as configuration, installation and implementation skills, along with QA and customer support.
This has always been the case but is clearly now more true than ever, thanks to the ever-growing choice of platforms and infrastructure provided “as-a-service”.
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