Continual development of employees is important for all businesses, in every industry. This is even more important in the technology sector.
The technology industry is defined by fast-paced, constantly changing trends. As a result, creating, understanding, adopting and marketing new technologies is crucial for success. In 2016, 83% of executives in the technology, media and telecommunications industry stated that learning is of integral importance to the success of their business.
We explore a few common benefits of tech training and why skills development in the technical area is crucial for the success, and even survival, of your business.
A foundation in digital literacy and technical skills puts everyone on the same page. With that technical foundation, your executive team can make more informed decisions through analytics, designers and marketers can work directly with the development team, and managers can project and better manage project time and budgets. By moving as one, you reach your company’s goals faster.
Technology has revolutionised the way we work and the Info-Communications and Technology (ICT) industry is at the forefront of the revolution.
In our conversations with business leaders, many have shared with IndSights Research that while there is a need to employ engineers and developers, many will hire from other countries, for various reasons. This means that physical location is no longer a limitation. ICT companies may want to consider anytime-anywhere, hard and soft-skills training, to ensure that disparate sets of employees are equipped with the right skills, know the corporate policies and culture, and ensure team consistency.
Staff need ongoing learning to stay up to date. Your business can only compete if your employees are comfortable living and working in a digitally complex world. Many technology startups are part of the growing number of “unicorns” — startup companies that grow to be billion-dollar businesses. This shows the pace of change of technology and why learning is essential to remaining competitive.
Technology professionals must constantly learn and relearn to ensure that knowledge, skills, and techniques are never out-of-date. They must constantly assimilate complicated information about technology.
In another of IndSights Research’s business leaders’ conversations, it was mentioned that tech workers need to have a broad set of stackable skills to be truly effective. For example, analysts currently need to understand and work with Big Data, the collection and processing of vast amounts of data, and its implications for their business. Others need to be trained on subjects like AI and IoT to make sure they’re keeping up with broader industry trends. Even coders and developers need to be proficient in more than one coding language.
Many business leaders have shared with IndSights Research that it is difficult to recruit for many technical positions. The European Commission believes there could be as many as 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT sector by 2020. By nurturing your own talent, you get high-skilled employees with experience specific to your needs. Promoting current employees to new technical roles will also save you money in recruitment costs, loss of productivity and salary, and it helps that they are already familiar with and loyal to the company. Companies that create such internal hiring programs see an increase in employee career satisfaction and retention.
According to the World Economic Forum, at least 133 million new roles will be created globally by 2022, from the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms. There will be strong demand for technical skills like programming and app development, along with skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving and negotiation, which computers can’t easily replace yet.
A short-term solution to filling the gaps would be to pay a premium to acquire talent with skills in demand. However, even if businesses can find people with the right skills, and are willing to bear the cost, it might be that these new skills may no longer be needed in a few years’ time. The point is: as new roles emerge and skills requirements change, the current pool of skilled workers is not enough to meet demand. There is already a big shortage of people skilled in data science and AI today. Businesses will not be able to fall back on hiring new employees as they attempt to future-proof their workforce.
The World Economic Forum estimates that more than half (54%) of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022, but the problem is likely to be even more acute in some regions. Companies must invest more in enabling their workforce to reskill now.