Your people are key to successfully embracing digital transformation

New and continuing technological change characterises the digital age. What analyst Gartner refers to as ‘the axis of forces’ - namely cloud, mobility, big data and social - provides an opportunity for executives to refresh how their business operates and serves its customers.

Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking transformation is all about bits and bytes. No technology exists in a vacuum. The use and adaptation of any tool is entirely dependent on the people who interact with systems and services.

It is people - not tools and applications - that hold the key to change. CIOs must develop the talent to help the business make the most of digital technology. Yet IT leaders face, amongst other wider concerns, three key people challenges:

  1. Finding great people - The IT skills gap is becoming a chasm. BCS research suggests 53 per cent of IT leaders believe there is a need for enhanced IT skills among their existing workforce.
  2. Dealing with the data deluge - CIOs need data experts who can turn information into intelligence, yet consultant McKinsey predicts a shortfall of up to 190,000 data scientists by 2018 in the United States alone.
  3. Communicating beyond IT - Modern tech professionals must explain the benefits of systems in terms their business peers can understand. But soft skills remain a key deficit for IT professionals, according to the soon to be published Shadbolt Review, even amongst graduates.

Professional development, then, remains a work in progress. One coping strategy is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA plus), which provides an international skills and competency framework to help organisations develop their IT functions.

The collaborative style of SFIA plus involves people with practical experience of skills management in corporate and educational environments. To get the most from technology, you need great people - and there is no substitute for continued learning and development.

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A regular look at how digital leaders can embrace and embed organisational change through their people.

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July 2018
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