humans are more important than machines.

Günther Ghijsels is CIO & CDO with Randstad Group Belgium. He considers technology in the workplace a challenge for company culture. ‘Technology is the easy part. Gaining support from employees, that is the great challenge we will face for the coming years.’

 

‘privately, we are quick to embrace new technology, but we tend to resist at work.’

 

‘Privately, we are quick to embrace new technology, but we tend to resist at work.’ As an employer, one must create awareness among employees with regards to the opportunities it presents in the context of their job. We love tagging someone in a photo on Facebook, but we are not yet sufficiently aware that those functions can be used professionally.

 

change is the great challenge

‘A mindshift is required to embrace that new culture. IT is transforming the workplace. But technology is the easy part. Gaining support from employees in this respect, working on change, that will be the challenge.’

‘It also bears consequences for employees. If you no longer feel good within a certain context or no longer support the company vision, you need to leave. The days of staying with the same company throughout your entire career are truly over.

 

‘work will become a permanent learning process. Employers need to create the space required to facilitate that.’

 

‘Jobs will disappear and new jobs will be created by technology, but nothing will stay the same. As a company, one must ensure that employees are able to adapt. Working will become a permanent learning process. Employers need to create the space to let that flourish. This is done by providing employees with the right learning resources, by involving them in the direction the company will be taking, by clarifying what the implications are for their work. It’s fine to give employees responsibility in this respect, provided that the proper framework is in place.’

 

creativity gains importance

‘How to best prepare oneself? Focus on creativity. Machines can take on a lot of tasks, but human contribution is as important as ever. Employees must share insights and ideas, collaborate to make technology more efficient. Employee education is lagging behind in this respect. Education is too much focused on gaining knowledge and not enough on creativity and adaptability.’

‘My job as a chief information officer (CIO) will also change considerably. ‘I used to be primarily involved with IT. Today this has shifted to information at large. Data is the resource for technologies such as AI and blockchain. Some of my greatest challenges will be to manage that data correctly and deploy it efficiently.’