Businesses Need to Bridge the Digital Skills Gap to Succeed
Over the last 10 years, we have seen incredible advances in technology, but the way in which businesses leverage it hasn’t changed, bar a few but rare examples.
In most, these advances can be seen in sectors like Machine Learning, Digital Transformation and AI, resulting in incredible opportunities and providing a glimpse into what a tech-focused future may, in fact, look like.
A failure to ‘understand’?
However, this exciting, fast-paced and seemingly limitless growth is driven by businesses failing to understand how to leverage next-generation technologies, and not having the skill or resource to control and develop their own tech-based capability in-house, creating a deep reliance on external providers.
So, what if digital skill, such as leveraging cloud computing, could be managed and controlled in-house? What if organisations invested the same cost and resources often set aside for external providers into the development of their own staff, enhancing professional development and closing the digital skills gap in their wake? When you take the time to consider it, the benefits are invaluable.
It should be a skill – not an insurance policy
Over the past decade, cloud computing adoption has increased significantly, where, globally, many organizations have already tapped into the power of the cloud to take advantage of benefits like agile working and scalability. However, the majority of these businesses would have completed this process through an external resource – IT consultants – that they will remain reliant upon for weeks, months and even years after the adoption took place, ‘just in case’ additional support is required.
Therefore, where IT and other tech-based industries have continued to grow, businesses are continuing to spend money on the proviso that they require IT support following the initial adoption process; fuelling the digital skills gap whilst enhancing reliance on industry ‘experts’ as a result.
Invest time and resource into training the right people
According to the World Economic Forum, there could be as many as 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT Sector by 2020, demonstrating a true shortage of talent. Ultimately, the digital skills gap is widening and fast, with more and more businesses looking to external providers before investing time and resource into training staff members in-house.
But what if every business that relied on the use of technology, upskilled members of their existing workforce? What if they took the bright, young stars of the future and provided them with the training to manage and control all tech-based systems in-house?
The result would change the business sector as we know it today, significantly reducing the digital skills gap and any reliance on external resources, whilst enabling businesses to nourish talent, reduce costs and increase productivity – a picture of success-driven through a shift in mindset alone.
With increased skillset in-house, businesses will have the resource to quickly implement and adapt to change, enabling them to leverage next-generation technologies and accelerate towards self-sufficiency. This concept sounds simplistic, but in reality, there are a very limited number of businesses that can and do operate in this way.
With self-sufficiency comes freedom, comes choice and, ultimately, comes growth. The digital skills gap is growing and with businesses becoming increasingly reliant on external providers – the elite digital ‘experts’ – this gap will continue to grow.
It is, therefore, only the businesses able to think differently, able to understand the importance of investing in their own resource, that are able to make this change. Through advances in technology, the potential for change is limitless, but only the businesses that start to invest in their own resource – that start to create their own robust infrastructure led by digital capability – are the ones that will truly be able to thrive.
Author: Adrian Overall