Are skills the missing piece of your digital transformation puzzle?

From the way people order their food to the way they shop, travel and communicate, digital transformation is at our fingertips and changing our lives. Businesses are spending big money to keep up with the competition. Many organisations look to new technology to transform their companies but new research from the talent acquisition firm, Capita Resourcing, suggests that organisations are hampering their digital transformation efforts by overlooking the people and skills aspects of transformation.

According to Capita Resourcing, 82% of HR leaders, surveyed from the UK, say their workforce needs to improve its skills in order to get the most out of digital transformation. The majority (94%) said they have difficulties accessing the skills required for their transformation objectives.

Prioritising skills in the digital age

The demand for skills is changing and in the workplace environment it is important to find the right balance between ‘soft and hard skills’

More than a third (36%) of businesses are suffering due to a lack of leadership skills and experience of running change programmes, while 35% are finding it difficult to predict future jobs and skills requirements. Beyond this, 29% are held back by a lack of digital skills amongst their workforce and 28% are hampered by a lack of access to high-quality digital talent.

Geoff Smith, Executive Director at Capita Resourcing, said: “Our research has clearly highlighted that digital transformation is about so much more than just technology. Organisations must start to realise that transformation always needs to be workforce-driven, and it’s therefore essential that the HR department plays an important role, to identify and access the skills required at each stage of the journey, from planning and design, through the change programme itself, and beyond.

“In doing so, HR can protect and establish the right culture and behaviours within the workforce. HR leaders need to step up and work alongside their counterparts in IT to ensure that organisations take a holistic approach to transformation.”

Gartner warns skills shortage could hamper digital transformation efforts

Gartner says only 20% of employees have the skills needed for both their current role and their future career

More than 200 HR leaders at companies employing more than 100 people reported that their organisations had focused primarily on technology within their digital transformation strategy, regarding resource, investment and time. Only 33% felt that culture and people have been a key focus in their transformation strategies up until now, and only 35% stated that skills had been prioritised.

Smith continued: “With access to high-quality digital talent so challenging, HR leaders need to adopt new thinking and embrace new approaches to bringing these skills into the business. The organisations that enjoy most success in their transformation efforts will be those that can create agile workforces, adopt channel agnostic approaches to recruitment, develop their own talent pools, and instil cultures of continuous learning across their workforces.”

Digital business requires a change in mindset and not just technology – Gartner

A technology shift that isn’t backed up by a corresponding cultural shift puts the success of a digital business initiative at risk

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future