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Five key skills to help drive corporate growth

Developing digital know-how across teams to help drive future success

In business, you likely want experienced, knowledgeable people doing the job they are skilled in. That’s the premise behind the standard functional organizational chart. 

But when it comes to digital and related skills, companies should aim to confirm that functional teams — not just the IT folks — have the practical knowledge they need to use technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and data visualization to help solve the business problems they face every day and rethink their business processes. The same goes for innovative approaches like agile project management and design thinking. Having teams know how to use technologies is important – with GenAI alone, 69% of CEOs agree that GenAI will require most of their workforce to develop new skills in the next three years 

Our Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution found that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Those who upskill their workforce now will more likely benefit.  

Skills that can create tech-savvy, innovative leaders 

1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) 

AI can be used to automate tasks that require human cognition, such as fraud detection or creating maintenance schedules for aircraft, cars, or other physical assets. AI tools support and can improve human decision-making in areas from capital project oversight to customer retention to go-to-market strategies for new products. The new capabilities released in late 2022 with GenAI have introduced transformative opportunities for a radical rethink of an enterprise’s value chains and business models.  

Applications across departments: 
  • Customer or prospect behavior prediction 

  • Product, service, or treatment recommendations 

  • Fraud detection and cybersecurity 

  • Automated, personalized ad targeting 

  • AI-powered chatbot customer support 

  • Actuarial modeling 

Potential benefits of upskilling in AI and GenAI: 
  • Faster, better decision-making and new insights 

  • Increased productivity 

  • Increased resilience (through threat sensing and disruption mitigation) 

AI can augment human decision-making in areas from capital project oversight to customer retention to go-to-market strategies for new products and services 

2. Robotic process automation (RPA) 

RPA software — essentially, bots — can save time and help improve accuracy by automating time-consuming rules-based office tasks. It works with your existing systems and processes.  

Applications across departments:  
  • Data cleansing and normalization 

  • Data replication 

  • Portal queries 

  • Data extraction 

  • Data reconciliation 

  • Price comparison 

Potential benefits of upskilling in RPA: 
  • Fewer human errors 

  • Increased productivity from existing talent  

  • Faster service delivery 

3. Data visualization 

Humans can often process visual representations more easily than spreadsheets, and data visualization conveys complex concepts and calls out patterns in data. 

Applications across departments: 
  • Delivering data more efficiently  

  • Assisting decision-making  

  • Showing trends over time 

  • Communicating information in a universal way 

  • Surfacing market opportunities 

Potential benefits of upskilling in data visualization: 
  • Better insights derived more quickly 

  • Data pattern and trend identification 

  • Better use of data to inform business strategy 

4. Agile project management 

Agile project management helps organizations develop new products or services in a flexible and interactive way, likely shortening development cycles and increasing speed to market.  

Applications across departments: 
  • Confirming quality 

  • Improving management of smaller projects within departments 

  • Improving performance of larger projects managed by the Project Management Organization (PMO) 

  • Enabling cross-functional collaboration 

  • Keeping up with the fast pace of change 

  • Improving relationships with stakeholders 

Potential benefits of upskilling in agile project management: 
  • Faster time to market 

  • Better communication among teams 

  • Better models for continuous improvement 

Agile project management helps organizations develop new products or services in a flexible and interactive way, likely shortening development cycles and increasing speed to market. 

5. Design thinking 

Design thinking is an approach to product design that prioritizes users, taking an iterative approach that encourages improvement through testing and incorporating user feedback. It is not, however, limited to product design and can be applied to problem-solving, collaboration, and decision-making. 

Applications across departments: 
  • Improving ability to see root problems 

  • Building on insights to serve human needs 

  • Creating customer-centered solutions 

  • Imagining, co-creating, and prototyping new products, services, strategies and business models 

Potential benefits of upskilling in design thinking: 
  • Better understanding of the user experience 

  • Fewer unnecessary deliverables created 

  • Higher user adoption 

Building a learning culture within an organization  

Improving capabilities within an organization includes upskilling employees across departments and functions. Developing talent can help improve your organizational capabilities — especially in the five key areas for corporate growth: RPA, AI/GenAI, data visualization, agile project management and design thinking. Upskilling in these areas can help establish a culture of experimentation and innovation, productivity and a continuous learning mindset. 

Invest in Tomorrow 

Accelerate your employees’ learning and help drive scalable impact for your business with ProEdge, a PwC product —an intuitive, AI-powered learning platform that leverages hands-on experience and aggregated content to prepare your learners for real business challenges. 

Take the first step on a new path toward transforming both your organization and the learning experience of your employees.

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