With COVID-19 dramatically accelerating the pace of digital transformation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for IT leaders to identify the right talent to fill the emerging gaps. Hence, IT leaders now need to rethink their hiring and training processes for truly transforming their enterprises.
With COVID-19 crisis putting increased pressure on enterprises to adopt remote working models and novel practices, digital transformation has taken the center stage. Though most enterprises were successful in adapting to the ‘new normal’, they still faced a lot of challenges when it came to the operations on ground as their workforce wasn’t equipped with the required skills to deal with the new way of working.
In recent years, the primary concern for most IT leaders is the skills gap faced for executing digital transformation initiatives. Many enterprises are struggling to provide employees with the necessary blend of hard and soft skills that can help them bridge the gap between what the business wants and the technology that is needed to make it happen.
In fact, in the 2019 State of the CIO Survey, CIOs revealed that strategy building (40 percent), project management (32 percent) and user support/training, success measurement, risk management, and business relationship management (all at 25%) were the top skills needed to execute digital transformation projects.
“All companies across the world are affected by the evolution of technology and the internet and of course, they need to adapt to this new reality,” says Boris Paillard, CEO, Le Wagon, in a podcast with EnterpriseTalk. He further adds, “When people speak about digital transformation, they always focus on the product and the fact that the company can be disrupted by new commerce, beta applications.”
Finding the right blend of skills is difficult
Finding people who have the right blend of business and tech skills is difficult as most IT employees are used to working in an environment that is rigidly defined with less room for strategic decisions.
There’s already a shortage of technical talent due to a low supply of qualified candidates and a high demand for those candidates. Additionally, when organizations look for available candidates possessing both technical and business skills, the candidate pool becomes even shallower.
Listed to the Podcast: Interview with Boris Paillard – CEO – Le Wagon
Finding business-focused IT people
Though going outside the organization to find the talent to bridge the skill gap has been a traditional approach, experts believe it is time for organizations to reskill their current employees.
Enterprises must support a culture of ‘network-based innovation’ that provides their current employees with more visibility and ownership of ideas for them to pursue. As Boris Paillard states, “Companies need to establish a strategy of upskilling like the one they have with hiring. We don’t use only one channel for hiring. We use lots of different channels. It holds true forfor a lot of upskilling solutions.”
Enterprises can also invest their resources in external training and development programs to help the employees get a different perspective. Also, partnering with outside establishments that specialize in developing a network of this talent can help organizations to better understand their current working environment.
“Companies further need to focus on the engagement aspect when it comes to upskilling their employees, in order to attain maximum ROI,” adds Boris Paillard.
The coming years will only be more difficult for enterprises as technology will continue to evolve at its accelerated pace and this will make it difficult for them to find the right talent. However, by investing in the workforce and seeking candidates that possess both technical and business acumen can help enterprises to effectively prepare for skills shortage challenges.