Businesses find digital transformation efforts falling flat because of skills gap
Businesses are buying into the notion that digital transformation can solve long-standing operational problems, make processes more efficient, and improve user experience. However, a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit — commissioned by Riverbed Technologies — finds that many efforts fall flat because organizations don’t have people with the right skills to operate and maintain digitally transformed infrastructure and systems.
The Lowdown: Digital transformation promises improvements in user and customer experience. Most business and government leaders, according to the EIU study, believe digital transformation is essential to achieving their goals and remaining competitive. However, the study finds that most businesses that have invested in digital transformation programs have not seen meaningful benefits and many have noted decreases in user experience. The culprit, EIU determined, is skills shortages.
The Details: The skills shortage is in more than just data center technology; it extends throughout organizations to the point where operations and customer-facing staff don’t have the wherewithal to properly use or leverage the digital tools provided. Consequently, 65% of the EIU’s global survey participants say the lack of digital skills has negatively impacted customer experience. More than one-half of organizations say they need to improve digital experience management.
The Impact: The skills gap is dampening the benefits of digital transformation investments, but it’s not discouraging companies from the vision of modernizing infrastructure and improving processes through technology. Among private-sector businesses, 60% described their digital transformation efforts as “advanced,” while 45% of public-sector organizations did the same. Overall, 78% of those surveyed believe digital transformation is critical to their ability to achieve goals and remain relevant in the market.
The Buzz: “The study shows a clear consensus among respondents that improving digital competency is vital for boosting organizational performance, even if some are not yet witnessing the results,” said Robert Powell, editorial director of EIU Thought Leadership. “Nevertheless, among the highest performing, the lessons are clear—do not hesitate, encourage internal collaboration, and, even if you feel ahead of your competition, never stop looking over your shoulder.”