The Covid-19 crisis has meant a general rethinking of our lives, habits, and prospects. We walk in a global environment, already marked by the digitization of production processes, in which new windows are opened to training both for students in university centers and for senior professionals. These are moments of continuous training, of constant renewal, where the worker must be receptive to skills and abilities hitherto unprecedented that the labor market demands exponentially.
Under the title The digital transformation of university education in Spain, the Conferences and Events team of Unidad Editorial and the Technology section of Elmundo.es, Pixel Tech, organized a digital colloquium on Monday, November 30, analyzing the future of the sector.
Participating in the meeting were: Joaquín Abril-Martorell, CEPSA’s Director of Digital Transformation (CDO); Iñaki Bilbao, vice-rector for Internationalization and Digital Transformation of CEU San Pablo; Cecilia Hoyos, director of the People Area of Sothis and Eduard Martín, CIO and director of the 5G Program of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona foundation.
In the field of training, especially in a university activity, possibly 2020 will also be remembered for the changes in teaching formats. “Today’s challenges, in a university like CEU San Pablo, are focused on fostering interaction between students who are at home and students who are present in the classroom”, highlights Inaki Bilbao. “Looking to the future, it remains to be seen how we will make technology become one of the universities’ allies. We must improve both the experience of the students in class and the updating of the training offer”, he adds. In the case of CEPSA, a company with almost a century of life, the digital renovation of doors within its work teams has crossed the path with the current scenario of pandemic and health crisis.
At Cepsa, we started the digital transformation journey in May 2018. Today we are 120 people, including scientists, data engineers, and experts in different subjects such as Agile. It has been five years of travel, we are halfway there,” explains Joaquin April-Martorell. “The living of what you studied in the university is over. We have created our experiential university in digital subjects with five faculties so that everyone can program. And also the robotics faculty to democratize automation in companies. We have our teachers, they are formative Sherpas where more than 700 people from the company have already passed. We cannot have people who do not know how the modern world works, “he says.
The Sothis consulting firm, owned by Mercadona founder Juan Roig through the Angels fund, has a staff of almost a thousand people spread over different projects in 35 countries. An activity that allows you to know first-hand the needs of companies with different digitization processes and times. “Digital profiles have been in high demand for years, but as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, specialists in cybersecurity, SAP, Navision, and Cloud issues are now more in demand. Also professionals in Big Data treatments and programmers for companies. But not only for the final company, but they are also profiles that the consultants add to their workforces “, highlights Cecilia Hoyos from the headquarters of the Valencian company.
On the occasion of the establishment of the state of alarm, teleworking became a key technological tool to overcome these moments of the VUCA environment (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) in which companies have been moving for a few months. “There is an avalanche of teleworking, but not the type of teleworking as I imagined. Teleworking is a very different thing from being at home every day. We must have at our disposal tools to diversify our way of producing, to be more effective and efficient “, declares Eduard Martín. “Tele-education is also going to complement face-to-face more effectively. But we must highlight the change in the content section. There are new verticals that work with the new 5G technologies, with the concept of ubiquity and multi-location with the wireless network technology, which will help universities and companies by providing them with new tools, both remotely and in-person, so that they can have new experiences “, comments the director of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation.
The new study plans now go through refocusing the academic offer in its entirety with the incorporation of different technological firms from within the classroom. “Companies have had to react because the universities did not provide that training that they were urgently demanding. Now we have generated three programs in alliance with three major technology companies: a Cloud Computing program with Amazon Web Services, an Artificial Intelligence program with Microsoft, and another from Data Science with SAS. This skilling and reskilling are indeed necessary, “says Inaki Bilbao.
It will be training also with a cross-sectional format that will be present in the different study plans. “In any traditional degree such as Law, Medicine or ADE, these technologies will have a great impact, even if it is basic knowledge to know how they work. Today, knowing Law and not knowing Artificial Intelligence, ADE and not knowing Data Science can be a problem “, explains the vice-rector of CEU San Pablo. The cruising speed that digital transformation projects add up to today in companies, both in education and in other sectors, has come several years ahead of the most optimistic forecasts.
However, in this new scenario, some variables have to be resolved. “You have to combine security with agility, I sometimes call it techno-stress. There is no time to digest things. The situation is not going to relax and it asks us to have transversality of knowledge. We need a lot of everything, skills, but at the same time Sometimes you have to be the most specialist in something “, Eduard Martín points out. “The university has to help us manage this complexity. With new technologies, we will have new content so that we can reach people more quickly. 5G seems to be easy to explain, but it is complex to put it into operation,” he concludes.
In this same sense, Abril Martorell states that “the problem today is not a matter of money, it is a matter of time. It is the most precious asset and more in these times of Covid-19. What before you had a strategy of Five years to reach a goal, now you have three months. You have to be infinitely more agile, people in companies have to be able to be autonomous. We all have to learn.
In this paradigm shift, the role of Industry 4.0 has also been very relevant in recent months. We have seen how many companies have reoriented their production to meet the demands of society by manufacturing masks or any medical device. “We indeed have less and less time, but technologies allow you to simulate processes. It allows us to anticipate decision-making to greatly reduce uncertainty. We can start planning based on the data”, Cecilia Hoyos says.