Digital workforce: implications for location strategy

The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to perform work previously carried out by humans is well underway across many enterprises. This digital trend is expected to accelerate, becoming fundamental to future business performance and competitiveness for a growing number of industries. By 2030, roughly 65% of occupations are anticipated to be impacted by digital automation*.

While automation will displace highly routinized work within organizations, the biggest impact will automate only a portion of current roles. Ultimately, robot-human collaboration will deliver higher quality work with greater efficiency.

In these instances, automation will free employees from menial tasks and allow more energy to be devoted to higher-value activities. This workforce transformation is shifting what companies need to operate in the digital future. In a recentstudy, 67% of global business leaders said advancements in technology will require new roles and skills in their organizations that do not exist today*.

While demand for basic skills is expected to diminish over the next decade, organizations’ demand for socioemotional, creative, technological and higher cognitive skills will rise substantially as illustrated in the chart to the right.

As companies pursue these traits to remain competitive, their talent sourcing strategies will become more important. Strategies will include:
  • Retraining their existing workforce.
  • Redesigning their location strategy to grow in new markets rich in these target skills to solve for the gap between their current workforce and the highly skilled talent locations.
  • Partnering with communities that are investing in training to build a pipeline with the requisite skills.

To succeed in the accelerating digital transformation, both training and new location strategies will be crucial. For more information on enabling digital workforce transformation through location strategy, contact Business Consulting. Our team is dedicated to ensuring clients achieve success in their location strategy and investment decisions.

*Sources: 2018 IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) Country Survey; McKinsey Global Institute (2019) The Future of Work in America: people and places, today and tomorrow.