Report: Employees’ Tech Expertise Outpacing Their Companies’


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Accenture has released a report that says 68 percent of Detroit business executives find their employees are more digitally mature than their organizations.

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According to the 2019 Tech Vision report from Detroit’s Accenture, 68 percent of Detroit business executives say their employees are more digitally mature than their organizations, creating workforces that are waiting for the organizations to catch up.

This percentage is lower than the overall U.S. rate of 74 percent.

“For decades, Michigan has been known for producing vehicles, and it’s increasingly becoming known for bringing technology and innovation to the world,” says Dan Garrison, managing director for Accenture’s Detroit office. “Many businesses, as well as their employees, are going through digital transformations together, although not at the same pace. In fact, our research found that many employees are more digitally mature than their employers. We believe that rather than limiting the workforce only to the skills they need today, companies must invest in learning and reskilling strategies that better prepare workers—and the company—for tomorrow.”

The report includes insight from 100 Detroit business executives, as well as business executives from metro areas across the U.S., on five up-and-coming trends.

Of the Detroit-based executives, 79 percent have found that because employees are moving between roles and organizations more often, they must reskill their workforce. The percentage is the same as the U.S. average.

Information technology and business leaders expect artificial intelligence to play a crucial role for human resources departments in the next two years. In Detroit, 56 percent of business leaders expect to use artificial intelligence for recruiting and hiring; training, reskilling, or upskilling; and for talent retention and engagement. These percentages are higher than the national averages of 51 percent, 50 percent, and 49 percent, respectively.

Other trends the survey found include the need for companies to understand and take advantage of distributed ledgers such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, extended reality, and quantum computing; the need to understand more about consumer data trails left online to better develop personalized experiences; and the need to redefine employee roles to take into account new technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The survey also found that businesses must recognize they are the conduit for data breaches rather than the victims, and that companies will have to quickly take advantage of on-demand economy and growing expectations by consumers for customization.

Other metro areas surveyed include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The full report is available here.

Accenture’s previous survey, released in January, found that 86 percent of metro Detroit companies plan to hire tech talent this year.

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