4 min

10 basic professional skills that contribute to a digital transformation


A company’s level of preparedness to bring about its digital transformation is usually incorrectly judged according to the technology it uses, omitting the one factor that is absolutely essential to achieve it, that is, the company’s talent.

For this reason, the troubling conclusions drawn in a recent study by the Polytechnic University of Munich and SAP indicate that 17.3% of companies consider that their employees are inadequately prepared for their company’s digital transformation.

In order to solve this conundrum, it is essential to know the digital skills that need to be fostered in employees and newly hired workers. In this post, find out all about these 10 essential digital skills.

This post is also available in Spanish.

What are the 10 basic digital skills?

1. General digital skills

It goes without saying that a general set of digital skills that combine a familiarity with using new technology is essential (such as mobile phones, social media channels, cloud solutions, etc.) as well as being capable of adopting other new innovative technologies without difficulty.

2. Data analysis and user experience

In the past, company employees had differing skills but all mastered a common knowledge of their sector and company. Nowadays, this knowledge must be complemented by an awareness of skills such as data analysis or user experience. Not everyone needs to be a data scientist or a user experience expert, but even an elementary grasp of these areas could prove a huge contribution to a company that is in the process of becoming digitized.

3. Interpersonal skills

We are entering an era in which manual tasks are increasingly being carried out by machines and computer software. As a result, interpersonal skills are especially relevant for new hires and can be the differentiating factor between two candidates with the same technical abilities. Empathy and the ability to work as part of a team or establish friendships with co-workers are becoming increasingly important skills that will be asked increasingly of  all workers.



Motivación intrínseca

Lógica divergente


Aprendizaje continuo


Gestión del tiempo




Capacidad de escucha


Responsabilidad Personal y Social

Capacidad de reflexión, síntesis y argumentación





Lateral thinking


Ongoing learning


Time management




Good listener


Personal and social skills

Good thinking,
ability to synthesize arguments


Source: Soft Skills: habilidades blandas en organizaciones

4. Learn or get left behind

In the new digital era, it’s not only expertise in one’s job that counts. Any employee’s knowledge base must include an awareness and interest in what is happening well beyond his or her sector. The most game-changing type of market innovations do not exclusively crop in niche environments but rather affect all sectors in a universal sense. It is no longer enough to simply keep an eye on competitors; today’s employees are required to keep an eye on global trends.

5. Ability to work in fast-paced environments

It is also essential for workers to be capable of adapting to fast-paced environments. The digital revolution has provoked a profound shift in how business is conducted: we have gone from using well-laid plans that have been written years in advance to having goals and schedules that are constantly redefined according to fluctuations in the market. This new environment requires teams to work dynamically, knowing how to prioritize and easily adapt to change.

6. Creativity

Employees in any sector must be assessed in light of their creativity, a key component in a business environment in which innovation constitutes the primary means of setting apart one entity from the next. To encourage creativity, companies must give employees the freedom to experiment without impeding their ability to achieve any goals set.

If you want creative workers,
give them enough time to play.

- John Cleese, actor inglés.

7. High standards and independence

Having high standards and an ability to work independently are also highly desired traits in employees. In a digital environment, companies should be discouraged from continually advocating hierarchical or centralized management structures. It is therefore essential that all departments and employees assume a greater level of responsibility for their work and move away from outdated modes of organisation.

8. Ability to execute plans

Since the digital economy is extremely erratic, continually and tirelessly redefining itself, professionals in the digital sector must be fully equipped to execute their ideas and quickly move from theory to practice. If a company workflow tends to be on the slow side and cannot keep up with business plans and strategies, it could see companies ultimately pursuing obsolete objectives.

9. Natural inclination to further learning 

If in former times a basic knowledge of your job was enough to ensure a decades-long career path with a minimum amount of learning and expertise, nowadays professionals who do not perceive training as ongoing and inexhaustible will eventually become redundant members of their organization. For this reason alone, being open to constantly learning is key in the digital era.

I have no special talents.
I am just passionately curious.

- Albert Einstein.


10. Customer-centric

Lastly, professionals in the digital era must be oriented towards their customer’s needs. In the past, job roles were more centred around budget expenditure and productivity, but these days a company is unlikely to survive if it proves unable or unwilling to observe, listen and understand its clients. This kind of approach requires empathy, knowledge in areas such as user experience and, above all, professionals with the vocation and passion to provide excellent standards of customer support.

In addition to considering these 10 tips when hiring new employees, companies must also help existing employees contribute towards a company’s digital transformation. Any evolution is entirely dependent on them.

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This post is also available in Spanish.


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