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47% of IT teams lack skills required to meet the needs of business today

Many IT professionals are not receiving the training or support needed to implement digital innovation, keep up with emerging technologies and working practices, or perform effectively in roles that are rapidly evolving, according to research by Skillsoft.


The study, conducted at the recent Digital Transformation Expo Europe event held in London in October, found IT professionals aren’t getting the critical digital skills development training or support that will be essential for assuring their long term ability to undertake changing job roles or transition to new ways of working. Key findings from the survey conclude:


  • Most (81%) say they will need to learn a new skill in the next 18 months to remain confident and competent in their current role
  • However, 59% expressed concern that they will not receive enough training or preparation from their current organisation to remain employable or skilled in the future
  • While 47% confirm that their team or department currently lacks the skills or capabilities required to meet the needs of the business today.


For those working in the fields of DevOps, AI, cyber and data security, infrastructure, and cloud, study respondents voiced strong concerns that investment in skills development is not keeping pace with the demands of digital transformation or empowering people to work in new ways. 


Highlighting a startling disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to prioritising investment in workforce learning and skills development, the study findings reveal many organisations are failing to empower workforces to perform in line with fast-pace digital transformation ambitions.


Almost half (45%) of respondents confirm that upcoming new technology implementations mean their organisation will need to do more when it comes to workforce training and skills development, with a further 16% going on to say that increased investment in digital skills training will be essential.


Most respondents (85%) say their role has already been impacted by digital transformation, yet 79% would have liked more learning, development or training opportunities in the last 18 months to ensure they were appropriately skilled for their evolving roles.


Rather than ensuring the right tools are in place to support sustainable learning that is aligned to the wider goals of the business, organisations appear to be neglecting workforce digital skills development needs:


  • 89% of respondents say their organisation could do more to provide the training, learning, and upskilling opportunities they need
  • 84% would prefer to learn the skills required to undertake roles impacted by digital transformation with an existing employer, rather than seeking a job elsewhere, yet just 30% feel supported by their current organisation to meet the new demands of a digitally transformed role
  • 59% believe their organisation prefers considering external employees for new roles, rather than upskilling current employees.


Despite the fact that job roles are evolving fast, and employees are eager to engage with skills development opportunities that will equip them with the competences and capabilities needed to perform against expectations, organisations appear to be struggling to address the workforce digital talent gap.


  • Just 17% of organisations appear to have an effective programme in place for reskilling employees for new roles, while 57% have a programme that could be improved; 10% have no programme at all
  • Only 15% of organisations have successfully implemented new technologies to help with learning, development and training; a further 69% have only partially done so.


Steve Wainwright, managing director EMEA at Skillsoft, said, “Today’s workforce is made up of five different generations, ranging from traditionalists to generation Z, who all need to go through the digital transformation journey. That’s why it is important organisations futureproof their workforce, ensuring they invest in their current employees and provide the training and support they need to take on new roles and acquire new expertise. To meet the demands of digital transformation, employees will need to be prepared to work with new technologies and upskilled appropriately to ensure they can perform their augmented roles with confidence, yet many organisations appear to be overlooking this vital element of their overall digital transformation strategy.


“With yet more disruptive technologies on the horizon, those responsible for recruitment and talent management will need to train their workforce to be ready for any eventuality – and those companies that grasp the opportunity and make it easy for employees to enhance their existing skills will be best placed to compete effectively in the ever-changing digital economy.”


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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