Managers have largest digital skills gap
Nine in ten organisations across Great Britain currently lack in digital skills. The digital skills gap is having the most negative impact on management-level jobs, according to a new report (The Open University Bridging the Divide Report 2019).
With the constant development of new technologies, organisations are becoming more aware of the shortages but unsure of how to address them.
The impact of the digital skills gap
Why do we need digital skills? How does the shortage have an impact on my company? If you think digital skills are only essential for tech companies, you need to think again. Digital technology has wormed its way into almost every industry and job function. Because of this, it has impossible to ignore.
Here are a couple of essential digital skills Great Britain is lacking in and what impact they could have.
1 in 3 organisations are lacking in the development and management skills required to move to a cloud-based infrastructure.
What is a cloud-based infrastructure and why would my business need it?
A cloud-based infrastructure is the hardware and software components (servers, storage, network and virtualization software) required for cloud computing. To find out more, take a look at these top 5 advantages of cloud computing.
With Cloud computing you can pay as you go with a subscription-based model. This cuts the cost of hardware and is much easier to manage and setup.
You can easily scale-up or down your cloud-capacity. This is a massive benefit when you need to increase your computing resources due to increased workload or company growth.
When your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. So if disater strikes, you need not worry about losing valuable data or business applications.
Access, edit and share documents with your team with cloud-based workflow and file-sharing apps.
- Work from anywhere
That’s right, anywhere! As long as you can connect to the internet, you can enjoy the perks of working from home, your local café or even abroad!
1 in 3 business leaders report a lack of cyber security capabilities within their organisation.
What is a cyber security and why would my business need it?
Cyber security is the protection of IT systems from unauthorised access,being damaged or made inaccessible. Take a look at the top reasons why cyber security is so important for businesses.
- Protection of data
Protect your own networks and data from unauthorized access and more importantly, your clients.
- Protection of reputation
When your systems are breached, recovering from the reputational damage can be difficult. Because of this, customers lose trust and confidence in your business. Ultimately, this loss of trust could result in them looking for your services elsewhere.
- Protection of company bank balance
A successful cyber-attack can have a dramatic effect on your company’s bank balance. As a consequence, you could be at risk of closure.
- Reduced downtime
Downtime can result in a loss of profits. Do I need to say anymore?
- Disaster recovery
Faster recovery times in the event of a cyber-attack.
What does this mean for the future?
50% of business leaders say the skills shortage will impact future profitability. A similar proportion (52%) believe that the digital skills gap will affect their ability to adapt going forward. Which the majority (72%), think is essential if their organisation is to survive.
The digital landscape is constantly evolving. As a result, workplaces are likely to alter significantly in the coming years. Businesses unable to adapt to new technologies may struggle to survive.
What can I do to ensure my organisation has the digital skills required both now and in the future?
Identify where there are knowledge gaps and put a plan in place to address them. For instance, you could hire in new talent with the required digital skills to move your business forward. You could provide training to your existing staff. If you want to see the benefits of training immediately, why not use on and off-the-job training in the form of an apprenticeship? You could also utilize the skills of third-party companies to bridge the gaps. Making changes now will ensure your organisation develops and grows alongside the emerging technologies. Don’t stunt the growth of your business due to lack of investment in skills.
Where can I get more information?
The OU combined market research across a range of organisations in GB and their own expertise to develop the “Bridging the Digital Divide” report. The OU commissioned PCP Market Research Limited to carry out a survey of 500 CTOs, HR Directors and HR Managers across Great Britain between 9-21st May 2019. This was split evenly between SMEs and large enterprises. To read the full report please click here.