As organizations respond to the disruptions created by digital-first business models and balance short-term growth with long-term sustainable strategies, they are making significant investments in technology and digital products. However, it’s critical that in the journey towards digital transformation, they invest in upskilling and reskilling, alongside a commitment towards continuous learning. Let’s take a look at three crucial skills that must remain a priority for organizations undertaking skill development in the digital age.
Security and risk management
As per a survey by the Enterprise Strategy Group, cybersecurity is one of the most critical areas where organizations are experiencing a shortage of skills. Most security professionals also tend to agree that they must keep updating their skills to ensure that their organizations do not face disruptions and challenges. Despite this consensus, the report noted that 62 percent of the respondents felt that their organizations were not doing enough concerning security to keep up with business and IT risks.
Since a majority of business transactions and processes are now moving to the cloud, organizations must ensure cloud-based security by hiring cloud security experts - a role with broad responsibilities that is becoming increasingly popular. Finally, an effective security and risk management strategy would also involve a team with diverse skills and expertise. Organizations need to hire or build teams that can continually assess risks, design and execute countermeasures, align business plans with digital transformation, manage vulnerabilities, and keep themselves up-to-date with the latest developments in the domain.
Cloud IT architecture
The IT architecture of an organization is the overall plan of information assets, both physical and digital. According to one report, the public cloud services market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow from $7 billion in 2015 to $ 23.8 billion in 2020. Cloud IT architects ensure that the digital framework of the organization aligns with the business requirements and strategies, and maintain a variety of IT resources to unify processes, improve interoperability, and streamline existing systems. Having the right cloud IT architecture in place will ensure that the organization can make the best use of the right people, tools, and skills in the best possible way. However, designing an effective cloud IT architecture will require strong capabilities in cloud IT, business, design, hardware, networking, and programming. To build these capabilities, there’s a need to upskill the existing IT employees and help them expand their skills by providing the most relevant training.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2018 report states that nearly 85 percent of organizations will be using data analytics in some form or the other. This means that organizations must develop the capability to record, sanitize, categorize, analyze, and visual the high volumes of data being generated by all stakeholders in the business paradigm.
As the role of data evolves from helping business leaders understand existing challenges and providing insights (a descriptive role) to predicting future problems and offering relevant solutions (a predictive and prescriptive role), businesses across industries will have to build internal data analytical capabilities. According to a McKinsey report, organizations all over the globe are facing shortages of talent with analytical expertise. Thus, developing skills like database management, Structured Query Learning (SQL), data mining, and data visualization is critical for organizations to collect and analyze data effectively. Furthermore, expertise in data analytics and data science will increasingly become a prerequisite for managerial roles as well.
The shift from basic skills (for instance, using tools like Excel) to highly-specific skills (say, gather real-time data on customer engagement and predicting the future) will require significant investment in building niche digital skills. While there are several areas where organizations must focus upon, they cannot get the fundamentals right without in-house building security, data, and IT infrastructure capabilities.