Our Global Digital Skills Survey 2019 report identifies three critical and eight key findings. The analysis covers cultural, individual, and organizational readiness for the changes which are being brought about through the impact of digital.

In this blog, I am focusing on the following critical finding:

Organizations Require Staff to Have the Ability to Acquire Skills Quickly as Opposed to Having Skills

Organizations are changing, or being forced to change, driven by advancements and developments in new technologies such as Cloud and Digital. The rate of change in these two areas is faster today than at any other period in the history of the planet. However, change is not easy. Change is not liked. Change is feared. Put it another way — change is hard.

Organizations are adopting cloud and digital technologies to address a number of needs including:

  • Access to better technology which provides better, and more advanced, features.
  • Access to more agile technology — with the thinking it will make the organization more agile too.
  • Maintain and hopefully increase competitive advantage
  • Lower costs (although buyer-beware as promised cost savings may not materialize).
  • Improved efficiencies leading to lower costs, etc.

In today’s technological world, it is easier than ever before to start using cloud and digital technologies. These are generally provided under an as-a-service model, on a pay-per-use subscription model, and only require an ID, password, email address, and credit card to get started. So, it is simple to access and start using cloud and digital technologies. But how will your staff actually use these technologies to achieve business goals and outcomes? How will the IT function integrate these technologies into the existing IT infrastructure? How will the organization exploit these technologies for competitive advantage?

These are common problems facing many organizations globally. We seem to forget that — while it is very easy to start using any new technology; it is generally more difficult to use new technology to deliver business outcomes and value. That is — unless we can learn how to use technology to achieve what we want from it.

This is where organizations are today. It is so easy to start using digital technologies such as cloud, IoT, Big Data, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, what do we really know about using and exploiting these?

Highly Skilled vs the Ability to Acquire Skills Quickly

This significant rate of change is leading organizations to examine the need for highly educated staff and highly skilled staff versus staff who have the ability to learn and acquire skills quickly, and to put these skills to work immediately. It appears that organizations are likely to place a premium on the staff who possess the ability to learn, re-learn, re-train, and upskill quickly as opposed to those who cannot (even if they are might be highly trained and highly skilled).

In our discussions with the C-suite, HR departments, organizational leaders, recruitment specialists and analysts, the ability to acquire skills quickly is a common sought-after trait. The reason is simple. The current wave of IT and Digital technologies are changing at an unprecedented rate and will continue to change for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, the ability for an individual to learn and acquire new skills and to expand their digital capabilities as digital technologies change and are introduced is considered more important than what that individual may have learned to do in the past or what knowledge they had acquired to-date.

It should be noted that the ability to acquire new skills quickly is not dependent on age. The older working cohort should be as capable as their younger counterparts in having the ability to acquire new skills. People’s ability, or inability, to upskill, re-learn and re-educate is generally seen as an individual trait, not a demographic trait.

The New Norm

The ability to learn, re-learn, re-train, and upskill quickly is fast becoming a requirement of staff throughout global organizations. This will become the new norm. The approaches to education and skills that got us to our position in the workplace today are unlikely to maintain future career growth.

The research shows that for employees to maintain their competitive advantage in the workplace they need to be able to acquire new skills quickly and then put those skills to use.

What is your capacity to learn, re-learn, re-train, and upskill quickly?

Is your organization capable of supporting a culture where the staff is support, encouraged and compensated in their efforts to learn, re-learn, re-train, and upskill quickly?

To find out more information and to access helpful advice and guidance, download the CCC Global Digital Skills Survey 2019.

Digital-Skills-Survey-2019-Report-Mockup

The CCC Global Digital Skills Survey 2019 Report

The report identifies three critical and eight key findings. The analysis covers cultural, individual, and organizational readiness for the changes which are being brought about through the impact of digital.