Despite adopting new and emerging technologies, many business leaders do not feel as if their operations are more efficient. A new report from Economist Impact, commissioned by Cognizant, suggests that a lack of skilled talent — people that could make the most out of these new technologies — is to blame.
For example, more than 60% of respondents said they plan to start or have already started using new or emerging technologies. In this case, business leaders said they were more interested in the adoption of cloud computing and workplace integration tech, compared to advancements like quantum computing, blockchain or virtual and augmented realities.
In turn, about 50% of respondents said they “are not achieving significant value” from existing tech investments. And about 46% of respondents said their companies don’t have the internal talent needed to roll out and use these advanced technologies.
These findings reflect a persistent trend in learning and development conversations: a dearth of STEM-competent workers and ensuing business leader frustration. EY reported in April 2022 that 53% of executives surveyed said they’re prioritizing data and analytics as near-term investments. In turn, about 1 in 5 said a tech talent shortage was an obstacle to executing these digital-first strategies.
A June 2022 report from Coursera suggested that technology and data science skills proficiency had tanked for U.S. workers in 2021, despite marketing, leadership and operations strategy proficiency being on the upswing for American workers. In a press statement, Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO, cited the Great Resignation as a catalyst for investments in the development of both human and tech skills. “Our data shows these skills are not equally distributed,” Maggioncalda said, emphasizing an accessibility gap for students and low-wage workers.
“Leaders must be ready for anything, and prioritization is key when everything seems equally critical,” Cognizant head of research Euan Davis said in a statement. “We've shown that savvy technology investment, attention on developing talent with new and expanded skill sets, and embedding and acting on an ESG agenda are core elements of focus on which leaders can build.”