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Governments should act decisively and make sure tomorrow’s workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need. A failure to address the shortfall in digital skills at an educational level would be a threat to the future economy

With Digital being the buzzword that is moving most businesses in the developed world and governments too getting involved and providing the necessary push needed to turn their nations into knowledge economies and technology hubs, investment in digital is growing by leaps and bounds.

However, despite conducive regulatory environments, relaxation of rules towards fintechs, and an overall increase in entrepreneurialism, it has not been an easy going for technology sector around the world. Even though there is a lot of excitement and optimism about digital, there is also a lack of vision as far as its future is concerned.

The strategy and vision foresaw by the top management often don’t get translated across all ranks of the organization with the organizational and technical infrastructure failing to address the needs of the talent who are the most key enablers in any digital transformation. A recent survey highlighted that 42 percent of respondents said that their organization’s digital strategy lacks clearly defined business objectives with measurable key performance indicators (KPIs), and nearly 48% reported that their organization’s digital strategy does not provide a clear understanding of audiences. This is alarming!

If we take a stock of the most important factors that impede digital growth of businesses, we can categorize them into the following:-

1. Lack of Collaboration – Departments within an organization are often siloed and do not regularly collaborate with one another. It is important to realize that the three key elements that will influence digital transformation are – skillset, toolset, and mindset. An organization must ensure that departments are no longer compartmentalized, and instead are well coordinated on these 3 elements. Some tips to remove silos and achieve better integration are – Re-organize the company structure if necessary, establish common goals and objectives, cross training and centralizing the data and dashboards.

2. Lack of infrastructure – One of the key factors of digital maturity is the infrastructure itself. Organizations are using outdated technologies which limit digital development. While governments across the world are investing in world-class internet access and digital infrastructure, more emphasis should be laid on joint thinking between the government, digital businesses and the residents themselves to tackle the infrastructure issues and reach across the breadth and width of countries.

3. Lack of Data – With ever-evolving customer channels and consumer devices, organizations lack data and understanding of their key audiences. The gap between their perceptions of how well they are doing and how customers feel remains incredibly large. There is a need for companies to centralize and analyze customer data from across the various web and traditional channels in order to paint an accurate picture of customers’ behavior and needs. This will also enable the employees themselves to access the relevant and contextual customer information to provide a contextual service and assistance based on customers’ immediate needs.

4. Lack of Talent – One of the fundamental issues that businesses have is attracting and retaining digital talent. For example, the digital technology sector would be concerned about Brexit, US’s increasingly restrictive VISA policies because digital tech workforce is reliant on international talent and it will be difficult to fulfill talent requirements from within. Sourcing skilled workers remains a challenge and there is need to attract the brightest and best from around the world. Governments should act decisively and make sure tomorrow’s workforce is leaving school or university with the digital skills that employers need. A failure to address the shortfall in digital skills at an educational level would be a threat to the future economy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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