Today, no discipline is immune to the power of digital transformation. IT organizations strive to be more proactive, client centric, and value driven to better align themselves with business goals and objectives. The synergy of technical and business knowledge is key to understanding and driving business strategies. It is now essential for IT organizations to anticipate the skills benchmarks of the future and proactively plan team development around emerging roles.

Based on the “International Technology Adoption and Workforce Trends” study, 46% of IT executives worry about finding staff with the right skills and experience. Over three-quarters (77%) of companies consider the deficit in digital skills to be a key hurdle in their digital transformation. Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 30% of tech jobs will be unfilled because of digital talent shortfalls. BCG research reveals that the biggest perceived technology challenge is not data security or the need to invest, but a lack of qualified employees.

With the continual emergence of new technologies and new business needs, the skills required to succeed tomorrow are not the same as the skills required to succeed today. Companies must transform their talent strategies in order to optimize the business value that IT organizations can deliver. Skill assessments should not be limited to existing “gaps,” but also to future opportunities.

A learning journey should combine an integrated approach with multiple formal and informal development components into a unique design that optimizes the training investment, maximizes learning “stickiness,” changes behaviors, and most importantly, produces meaningful positive business outcomes. It has to be focused on the individual level, purpose-driven, and performance-oriented. Upskilling the existing talent pool through online courses and virtual classrooms is a best practice prevalent in many companies. Organizations are leveraging technology to help employees with self-assessments of their competencies, identifying areas for development, seeking suggestions to develop proficiency, gamifying learning, and creating business simulations to test new skills and knowledge. Partnerships with colleges and universities also further talent development efforts.

Competency development needs to be prioritized at all levels of the organization as a core strategy. Organizations will have to look beyond traditional skills-management approaches and adopt wide range of talent-management levers to sustain the advantages they gain from digital skills.

Read Capgemini’s and LinkedIn’s joint research report on the Digital Talent Gap:

Digital Talent Gap

The Digital Talent Gap—Are Companies Doing Enough?