Plug & play digital teams solving two SA problems at once

Mindworx Digital Pods provide organisations with digital transformation teams while providing work experience opportunities for entry-level digital staff

By Visagan Naidoo, Head of Mindworx Consulting

Businesses face a fundamental problem: the need for ongoing digital transformation without the time or capacity to source scarce digital skills and train them to do the work that will ensure continuing competitiveness and sustainability in the rapidly evolving world of 4IR.

Mindworx, the South African technology-focused digital talent and solutions agency, has launched its Digital Pods, which it believes solve the corporate skills challenge while simultaneously positively impacting the country’s dire youth employment situation. “The growing need for in-demand digital skills is the game-changer we need to create entry-level job opportunities for young South Africans,” says Visagan Naidoo, Mindworx’s consulting business head.

In a highly competitive world where technology offers newer and more efficient operating methods, companies have to keep up to date to remain relevant and sustainable. Knowing exactly what they need and how to implement it is not always as simple as it sounds. A Digital Pod provides the solution through a skills-as-a-service model. In the same way that the concept of Software as a Service democratised software, enabling users to a) negate the cost of expensive hardware and b) only pay for what they used, the same concept now applies to the digital transformation model. “It’s how companies will stay leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors in the future,” says Naidoo.

A team of 4IR experts assist the client in identifying their transformation priorities and structure a Digital Pod to deliver on that specific project’s requirements. The pod can be based at either the client’s premises or at Mindworx. Digital Pods are staffed with skilled, bright, capable graduates from the Mindworx Academy, with a dedicated senior team managing the project and functional experts guiding and mentoring them. This approach de-risks the digital transformation journey for the client by guaranteeing a project delivered on time and within budget. It also allows digitally-skilled youth to gain much-needed experience in the tech economy and equip them for long-term employment.

The Mindworx Academy trains technically-savvy youth for in-demand roles like Business Analysis, Automation, Testing, Data Science, Programming and Operational Support. Because a lack of experience on a CV is one of the most significant barriers keeping entry-level workers out of employment, the experience gained by participating in high-value tech work in a real-world environment sets these youth up for future success in the workplace.

“The benefit of deploying a Digital Pod is that our clients get their project done by a specialised team who is held fully accountable. Then there’s an add-on benefit: if they like a person, or people, in that team, they can employ them on a full-time basis at the end of the project—at no additional recruitment cost— to support their ongoing digital transformation,” says Naidoo. “This will give the organisation a skilled resource who is already immersed in the culture, the working mechanisms of that business, and the job to be done.”

Mindworx Digital Pods are already being deployed within the Mindworx network of clients. “This is a win-win for us,” says a senior manager at a leading financial services provider. “We have an exceptional team running some really transformative projects for us—we’re migrating to new technologies and platforms and implementing other innovations to support our existing technologies. At the same time, there’s the feel-good factor of allowing young talent to learn while we build a digital talent pipeline.”

The growth potential of the digital economy presents an opportunity to tackle the youth employment challenge. Millions of jobs requiring advanced digital skills will be created in the coming decade, but skilled workers are in short supply to fill these jobs. Digital skills development can create employment for our youth. They have the advantage of being innately tech-savvy and understanding the digital world, and formal training doesn’t require years of expensive education. “Our academy can get them where they need to be skills-wise, and our Digital Pods provide them with the key to their future,” concludes Naidoo.

This article was published on the 5th of July in Ventureburn


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