As our digital world evolves, companies are needing to increase their investment in new technologies to enable better data analysis. This level of financial injection is advantageous.  Not only will it give them an edge over the competition, it will drive profit and improve customer retention. With this innovation comes a growing digital skills gap.

The rise of big data and analytics talent will be necessary to drive change. However, such growth could be restricted by a lack of skilled people in the market. Technology giant IBM, foresaw these dangers and prophesied that a lack of skills in the digital workforce may hinder global digital development.

Back in 2016, Sanjay Brahmawar, the Global Head of strategic business development for IBM’s Internet of Things business pointed out:

“One of the biggest issues is going to be the gap in skills. Getting the skills required to analyse and manage all of this data is going to be difficult.”

He then added “By 2020 we will have one million unfilled jobs in the IT sector. Primarily because the skills we have today aren’t the right skills for the future. The future is more about the business understanding and the data understanding.”

This was reinforced by Tanja Rueckert, executive vice president LoB Digital Assets for SAP.  She stated that the manufacturing sector is experiencing a huge transformation, referring to the “fourth industrial revolution”.  This can be characterised by an integration of big data, cloud computing, robotics, artificial-intelligence and additive manufacturing.

More recently Deloitte have come up with some digital skills gap insights of their own…

digital skills gap infographic for the UK


The landscape in 2018 looks just as these industry insiders anticipated.  This is only enforced by the professionals who are immersed within it.  This recently published article from Deloitte suggests that less than half of executives believe they have the skills to compete and lead within the digital economy.

It goes on to confirm that companies are heavily budgeting for the investment in digital development and ways of working.  Technologies such as AI are at the forefront of their investment.  Indeed, 82% of executives plan to address the AI gap by 2020.  Other areas of concentration are robotic and cognitive automation and blockchain.

It could be argued that the large-scale company shortfalls are easier to address.  The real issue seems to arise from the skills gap of those needed to implement an action such as digital change.  The Deloitte survey surmised in the article, reveals that over 75% of the executives asked are finding the recruitment of individuals with the relevant digital skills challenging.  Data scientists and analysts are revealed as the most difficult roles to recruit and retain.

At Ignite Digital Talent, we believe that we are already seeing that skills gap emerge.  Professionals with advanced data and analytics skill sets are undoubtedly becoming more sought after, and we’d agree that there is a significant lack of relevant candidates out there.

Maybe you are looking to take advantage of this skills gap and develop your own skill set, or perhaps you are just graduating from university and are wondering how you can become indispensable within the emerging jobs market.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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