The War for Talent Has Gone Digital
The shortage of digital skills in the current marketplace is unprecedented. It is estimated that over 4.4 million IT jobs will be created around Big Data by 2015; however, only a third of these new jobs will be filled. Martha Lane Fox, the UK’s digital inclusion champion, believes over 16 million people in the UK lack the basic digital skills to fully benefit from the Internet. Even Millennials are a matter of concern. In a survey comprising over 800 middle to upper management executives from over 50 industries, nearly one in five Millennials in the modern workplace are perceived to be lacking in analytical skills.
The reasons driving this skills shortage are not hard to identify. The usage of mobile, social and analytical tools is permeating the length and breadth of every function across the organization. Unlike the past, the impact of these digital technologies and tools is felt not just in the IT department. This means that the magnitude of training and re-skilling that is required is enormous. Moreover, each new technology cycle has brought forth new requirements and these cycles are increasingly getting shorter. Employees must now refresh their skills more frequently if they wish to stay relevant in this rapidly changing digital environment. The head of India R&D Labs of software firm SAP succinctly states: "The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer – about 15 years. The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than the 35-year-olds do."