Digital Skills – Laying the Foundations

July 28, 2015
Digital Skills – Laying the Foundations

You may have seen on the blog a couple of weeks ago we wrote the first of what will be several pieces on the theme of digital skills.

It’s a topic we feel incredibly passionate about. So, over the course of the next few months we’ll be repeatedly turning our attention to the topic.

Why? Well, we’ve built our business on providing the technology to help organisations transform the way they do business. But this is only part of the story; without the talent, and a culture that enables that talent to thrive, organisations will never be able to fully exploit their full potential, regardless of the modernity and flexibility of their IT infrastructure.

We feel that too many organisations are failing to harness the digital talent required to ensure they do not left get behind in the wave of digitisation sweeping through business. We’re not just talking about the more technical skills such coding, network management or security here; we feel that the softer skills to behave more digitally are just as crucial. There’s too little focus placed on the nurturing of the digital skills required by almost all of us.

We’ll be collaborating with industry leaders, talent gurus, government influencers and, most importantly, our customers and partners to better understand the issue and to provide strategies to address it. Essentially, we want to discover what are companies missing out on by failing to exploit the digital talent and skills within the business, and whether enterprises who claim to value digital talent are plugging employees into the same old restrictive processes and protocols.

And, ultimately, we want to know the business impact for failure to harness talent, from the lack of ability to deliver on business growth to the risks of top talent leaving for competitors.

To kick off the debate, the first task was to ask our online community about their views on the role and value of digital skills, both now and in the future. Three main things stood out.

Firstly, one of the most interesting aspects that emerged was just how important ‘softer’ digital skills are. The most prevalent digital skills used on a daily basis were sharing tools such as Dropbox (59%), mobile applications (58%) followed by telecom tools such as video conferencing services (53%). While some automatically think of coding or application development as the main digital skills, our research shows that for many people to be able to productively carry out their work is actually more vital.

Secondly, we also looked at the skills that people want to learn as part of their role. Nearly one in five (19%) want to learn how to do basic graphic design, followed by coding and application development (both at 15%). So while it’s clear that while more technical digital skills are important for a number of people, for a bigger majority it’s the less technical digital skills that help them be productive as part of their daily role.

Finally, the online research suggested that there’s a real belief among on online community in the power of digital skills: more than three quarters (83%) acknowledged that “a good knowledge of digital skills can have a beneficial impact across all job roles”. At the same time, over two thirds (67%) want their employer to give them more digital skills training.

Over the coming months we’ll be expanding on this further, bringing in some expert minds from across our ecosystem (as well, of course, as VMware) to add their views on the issues. We’ll so be sharing the results of our wider survey on the attitudes of European business leaders, employees and key IT decision makers to digital skills. But we also want to hear what you think. So, if you have any interest in digital skills keep your eyes on the blog and our Twitter channel, and share your thoughts.


 
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