How to Build a Digital-Ready Workforce
Legacy architecture. Lack of budget. Corporate culture. There are many things standing in the way of digital transformation. But these all pale when compared to the biggest stumbling point of all: the skills gap. Here are some steps any organization can take to improve the digital skills of its workers.
Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) have together transformed how we live and work. Even as you read this, technology is moving at a breakneck pace, with new workflows, revenue streams, and innovations surfacing on a constant basis. You’ve probably wondered how your own organization can get on board with this.
The first step is tracking down the right talent, and that’s easier said than done. There is a talent shortage in IT, and it’s a problem that grows larger and more pressing by the day.
If you want to grow your organization and implement new technologies in a way that doesn’t leave you with a target on your back for hackers, you need to overcome this hurdle. But it isn’t as difficult as you might expect.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that while there may be a lack of people specifically trained to work in IT and deal with IoT technology, there are many people with the right skill-sets to do so. People with leadership, communication, and analytical skills. Detail-oriented workers capable of thinking outside the box.
If that sounds like a pretty general set of traits, that’s because it is. Anyone who’s a logical thinker and happens to be good with numbers has the capacity to work in IT.
You probably have plenty of people within your own company who might be suited for such a lateral move. And even if you don’t, there’s still a lot of hidden talent on the market. I cannot help but recall a 2016 piece written by Fast Company, discussing how musicians could be instrumental in solving the skills gap.
Beyond broadening the scope and focus of your hiring efforts, you can also look into automation. Most IT professionals have a lot of unnecessary busywork in their day to day lives. Any software you can install that reduces the amount of time they spend on mundane tasks — password resets, reporting, for example — increases the amount of time they can spend on new projects and innovations.
Finally, you might consider playing an active role in generating interest in computer science programs amongst university students. The tech industry, for example, is still a notoriously hostile place if you’re a woman. Do your part to promote inclusivity through scholarships and participation in diversity initiatives, not just for the sake of reducing the talent shortage, but for the sake of making IT a better place for everyone.
There’s a lot of exciting new technology out there that can change your business in some very meaningful ways. But in order to leverage it, you need the right talent in the right place at the right time. You need to make sure you have an IT department with the expertise and experience necessary to help you along.
Do that, and everything else should fall into place.