An IDT study, conducted in partnership with SAP, reveals that 80% of businesses cite digital transformation as a priority in the coming year, with one-third having a strategy in place to make this happen. However, there seems to be a significant lack of talent to handle digital tasks. “73% of respondents claim that extensive big data analytics skills are important for the digital transformation of the company. But, only 39% claim to possess the skills necessary in this domain.”
Sarah K. White, senior writer for CIO.com, shares that, “Although digital transformation is important to businesses, companies are still dragging their heels on developing a strategy.” She points to a study conducted by The Hackett Group that found the biggest challenge for companies developing a digital strategy is actually finding the right talent.
Scott Holland, Global Advisor Practice Leader for the Hackett Group says, “Without the right skills in IT and other business units, companies will not understand the possibilities of what can be accomplished through digital transformation." His firm found that only 17% of the companies studied had enough employees with the skills suitable to handle a digital transformation.
While a vast majority of global companies are looking to make the digital leap in 2017, few have the employees with the right skills to get the job done. The IDT study points out this wide gap in skillsets vs. demand for digital technology talent. Therefore, it’s causing many companies to delay their digital transformations.
Holland recommends looking at existing talent to see who can be trained in the skills needed to perform digital tasks, and third-party sources for providing simple technology until the skills are attained. He points out that it’s far less expensive to go this route. This strategy is called the hybrid staffing strategy.
Mark Troester, VP of Solutions Marketing at Progress, a digital transformation software firm, advises CIO that hiring for digital transformation is about striking a close balance between skills. He says, "From a leadership perspective, look for individuals that live in the middle of business and technology – individuals that are entrepreneurial in spirit and have the ability to apply technology in new and creative ways. If that skillset is lacking then you may need to go outside the organization.”