The capabilities required to thrive in a digital environment

The Government of Canada is embarking on a journey to transform into a truly digital environment. This ambitious goal of digitization is possible, if staff are positioned to thrive in their environment. How do you know if your organization is on the right track?

Jisc, a non-for-profit organization for digital services and solutions based in the UK, developed the digital capability framework. It describes the skills and abilities required by staff in order to thrive in a digital environment. The model, seen below, shows the six overlapping elements.














Here is a description of each element:

Information and communications technology (ICT) proficiency: Do staff build their own personal learning environment from a range of digital tools and services to increase efficiency?
Information, data and media literacy:
Do staff have an understanding of how to use information, data and media?
Digital creation, innovation and scholarship: Are staff able to design and create new digital materials, as well as promote new ways of doing things?
Communication, collaboration, and participation:
Do staff use digital tools such as email, presentations, and video conferencing to engage with others?
Digital learning and self development:
Does staff participate in online tutorials, discussions, and courses to increase personal development?
Digital identity and wellbeing: Do staff have digital profiles, using them in ways that support a healthy balance of technology use?

The ability for staff to acquire or develop these elements is largely based on the digital environment that organizations instill. So, how can an organization instill a more digital environment?


Understanding employees’ current digital capabilities provides an overview of the extent management can help in increasing capabilities within the organization. Find out what employees need in terms of the support to develop the skills required. Tracking confidence levels can help to see if training or rewards are required.


Make technology the norm for your employees, encouraging innovation through its use. According to a study published by, many organizations craft a top-down approach to implementing new changes. A better practice may be to involve employees in the decision-making process, creating new tools and processes that are reflective of what digital features they would like to be using. These requests are made based on what gaps the employees have seen within the organization on how to improve their daily tasks, also improving how they serve customers.

Implement governance

Without the proper governance in place, there is a lack of understanding of who is responsible for certain tasks, in which case the projects do not get implemented properly. Set up performance measures to consistently monitor progress of the digital implementation.

Are you in the position to make changes for your organization? Or are you a staff member who wants to help instill changes? Let us know if you have any ideas on how to instill these digital capabilities.

Lisa is a consultant with over four years of experience with a focus on business process and service design. She has completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from the John Molson School of Business in Montreal, with a semester abroad at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.


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