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Digital Transformation Skills Shortage Slows Progress

Having trouble staffing your digital transformation project team? Well, you're not alone. More organizations report a digital business skills gap within their workforce, but many can't find a viable solution to the IT talent shortage, according to the latest market study by CompTIA.

Forty-six percent of the executives surveyed believe that the digital business skill challenges within their organizations have grown over the past two years.

Moreover, the skills gaps are not confined to technology. Executives also reported digital skills issues in marketing, sales or business development, operations, customer service, accounting and finance.

Digital Skills Market Assessment

"The skills gap is often a catch-all phrase for other workplace challenges, such as a labor supply gap or generational differences in work styles," said Charles Eaton, executive vice president at CompTIA. "But whatever the cause there is clearly a wide chasm between the skills employers want and their perception of the skills their workers have."

The consequences of workforce skills gaps can affect many areas -- lower staff productivity, lower sales and profitability, delays in bringing new digital products and services to market, and losing ground to competitors.

Yet just one third of respondent organizations said they have a formal process and resources in place to address their skills gap challenges. The remaining companies reported having an informal process, or no process at all.

CompTIA uncovered that more than half of organizations acknowledge they struggle in identifying and assessing skills gaps among their workforce. That said, knowing what to fix must precede discussions of how to fix it, and the deployment of a chosen resolution.

The speed of innovation is one of the biggest challenges companies face in keeping their employees digital skills up to date -- a challenge that show no sign of abating.

Organizations testing the waters with the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other emerging technologies face even greater digital skills gaps. According to the CompTIA assessment, it takes time for training materials to reach the market and for opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

Outlook for Digital Skills Development

When asked about strategies for addressing skills gap challenges within the workforce pipeline, companies emphasized the need for better approaches for candidates to gain work experience and on-the-job training. The top strategies cited include:

  • Better ways to provide on-the-job experience, such as internships.
  • Better ways to provide intense job training, such as apprenticeships.
  • Early student exposure to careers in IT and digital technologies.
  • Certifications and credentials to validate skills and knowledge.
  • Better assessment methods to evaluate the skills of job candidates.

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