How Fluent Are You in “Digital?” 4 Areas that Independent Professionals Need to Master

By MBO Partners | February 21, 2024


Key Points

Digital fluency now means more than just mastering tools.

Workers now need to have a deeper understanding of technology to be prepared for the future of work.

Here are four areas where independent professionals need some (or a lot of) digital fluency.

On-the-job technology has come a long way since Netscape days. As hardware and software have steadily evolved since then, workers and companies have had to keep up. Web browsers, email platforms, and phone apps are just a few of the technology tools that are embedded in the workplace. Now there are clouds, web-based collaboration spaces, and, of course, artificial intelligence.

While it may seem that staying up to date with technology means doing what’s been done before—take a class or two, maybe, or just start using the tools knowing mastery will come. But digital fluency now means more than just mastering tools. Workers now need to have a deeper understanding of technology to be prepared for the future of work.

4 Areas that Need Digital Fluency

This is especially true for independent professionals. Not only will they need digital fluency to operate their businesses, but they will also need to keep their skills honed to align with clients’ technology initiatives. Here are x tech areas that contractors should have at least some fluency in:

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing makes digital resources available as services over the internet. It has replaced the need to, for example, purchase a software application and subsequent updates. Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are two examples of the use of cloud computing. Unless your skills are technological in nature, you won’t need to understand this area in depth. However, it’s good to understand the basics of how it works and why it’s valuable to businesses.

Cyber Security

Enterprise-level digital security is multifaceted. It includes various permission levels that allow access to different parts of the technology system. It also includes preventing data breaches and system hacks. Independent professionals need digital security as well. Examples are virus monitoring services, use of virtual private networks, and password management. It is important to understand the full cyber security picture so that you take appropriate measures in your business and follow client protocols when working on projects.

Multiple Platform and Device Agility

In today’s world of remote work and digital nomadism, working in the cloud is imperative. Workers must be able to work across several productivity platforms—for example, communication, collaboration, and project management. Different clients may have different platform combinations, and while you don’t necessarily need to have mastery of all available platforms, you do need to be flexible and able to learn a new platform quickly. And to support working from anywhere, you also need to be able to work on multiple types of devices.

Artificial Intelligence

This area is ubiquitous in business today. AI mastery is a necessity for workers, both now and in the future. This fast-evolving technology has already become embedded in many business areas and it will continue to be deployed as it becomes more sophisticated. Independent professionals need to keep pace with AI and master each generation to apply to their businesses and to demonstrate the value of their skills to clients.

Keep on Learning

Maintain your focus on digital fluency. Include training in your business plan and make a point of targeting at least one area every quarter. Services like LinkedIn Learning can be invaluable as a sort of one-stop training shop for a wide range of technology areas.


Search for Projects

Related Posts

Learn more about the MBO Platform


Start, run, and grow

your independent business with MBO


Engage, scale, and optimize

your independent workforce