From bridging the talent gap to incubating the right culture to modifying the infrastructure, every small thing should be taken into account when companies plan to harness the power of any new technology.
The digital world is here. Just by downloading applications on our smartphones, we can do things we never even imagined some ten years back. Who would have ever thought that we could talk to a machine, interact with it, ask queries, book tickets from our home, and the list goes on? Behind every technological innovation that hits the market, there is a team of highly skilled professionals working jointly to make the innovation a success. And it is obvious that when technologies come in, employees are expected to update their knowledge and skills to be able to leverage the technology.
Deciding to adopt any technology is easy, but making the adoption a success is not easy at all. Many parameters should be met before leveraging the technology, without a doubt. While bridging the talent gap ranks higher in the to-do list for companies, there are other crucial prerequisites such as infrastructural changes, measures for privacy, and an accepting work culture too. But most importantly, CIOs should build a team, where every employee shows a deep passion for learning new skills as and when the need arises.
While almost every organization understands the need for upgrading the skills of employees in the digital space, very few of them take this seriously.
A pioneering survey was carried out by Capgemini in collaboration with Linkedin. The survey stated that nearly 50% of companies had not taken any bold action to fix the digital talent gap issue, and nearly half of the companies fall short in terms of digital skills. The problem is, there are only a few employees who possess the skills needed for leveraging modern-day technologies. The employees should be passionate enough to learn new skills within the stipulated time. Remember, when we were a kid, learning alphabets, rhymes, and words were never easy. Similarly, for employees, learning things so new is not easy.
The skill gap is not a small thing, obviously. The demand for technology application is high. However, the resources that make a technology market-ready are limited. Similarly, tech jobs are in-demand, but companies find it difficult to find the right talent, the ones who will best match a position. This, in turn, has stirred a battle among companies to search for the most promising talent, having the most niche skills. A fierce competition has begun already! Of course, multinational organizations having deep pockets will pick the most skilled employees by handing them big and attractive salaries. But, what about medium-sized companies and startups? There is an upsetting disparity here, which will cause a negative impact on the global economy.
The race for attaining digitization is intensifying among companies. Every tech company is trying their hands at implementing new-age technologies, developing pioneering applications, and getting recognized for their work. But, with such an imbalance, meeting goals is difficult. So, what could be the potential solution?
Companies realize the need for people with top-notch skills, but finding them is an onerous task. With more demand for highly skilled employees, the skill gap has only broadened. To probe this burning issue, companies, regardless of their size, can follow an approach where they upskill or re-skill their existing workforce rather than hiring new employees.
Instead of wasting your time and capital in hiring new candidates, you can solely focus on the resources you already have. By merely grooming your employees, you can seamlessly drive towards digital innovation.
Not every company will have the same maturity in digital aspects, and hence, digital skill development reasonably relies on the sophistication level of digital transformation. Some companies might need lesser effort, while some might need more. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all rule that organizations can follow to plug in the talent gap.
However, the guidelines mentioned below will drive organizations to the right path, towards success in the digital space. By taking the following points into account, you can create a roadmap to innovation that best suits your company needs and objectives:
The first step is one of the most crucial steps if your company wishes to develop digital talent. Firstly, companies should have a clear vision of what their objectives are in the digital space. Of course, every company will have created a list of points that they want to cover while they adopt any new technology. Taking these points into account, companies should identify what skills must their employees possess to help them achieve their digital goals. IT professionals should collaboratively work to find out the skill requirements.
Once companies know their future skill requirement, they should carry out a skill gap test to determine the gap between the current skill set and the ‘must-have’ ones. As a result, companies will understand the demand for the new skills required to meet digitization. The HR department should propel the defined vision further by scheduling training programs so that the employees enhance their knowledge on these digital requirements. Post training, the HR department should conduct assessments, which will help companies understand to what extent did the training programs work well.
By frequent training programs and assessments, companies can build a team of professionals suitable for the new-age technologies. But is that enough to drive digital innovation? No. Companies should have an iterative check on technological aspects. There are high chances that a new skill requirement might arise post adoption of technology. Hence, as and when the need arises, companies should conduct reskilling and upskilling programs, which will help them build a robust team of experts.
Do you think you are done building a skilled workforce? Actually, you are not close to that! Bridging the skill gap is a continuous process, to be precise. The steps mentioned above should be consistently followed so that employees are ready to work on any new project based on new-age technologies.
To meet digital success, only bridging the skill gap is not enough, there are many other vital things such as funding, privacy measures, data storage system, data management system, and so on that should be taken care of as well. Bridging the talent gap is albeit a crucial first action on the long journey to boost digitization. Without meeting the skill demand, companies cannot attain technological excellence, for sure. But, mistaking it to be the only need to drive digital revolution is also a blunder!
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.