Workplace Snapshot: Digital Skills Sorely Lacking as Company Innovation Suffers

October 07, 2014
By: Tara Seals

In an age where getting and keeping market differentiation boils down to social media savvy and the ability to navigate the digital economy, there is a shocking, and glaring lack of workforce skills on the tech innovation front.

That’s the word from Capgemini (News - Alert), which finds that 90 percent of companies lack digital skills. Yet, only 46 percent of companies are actually investing in them.

Far worse, a paltry 4 percent of companies said that they are aligning their training efforts with their digital strategy. Instead, most organizations are relying on the timeworn traditions of recruitment drives and classroom training to drive innovation and talent into their businesses. What Capgemini calls “more radical” methods, like setting up start-up incubators and going after targeted company acquisitions to acquire brain trusts are being employed by just 13 percent of companies.

“This conservatism is surprising given the success stories that exist,” said Jerome Buvat, chief of Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Research Institute, in a blog. He cited Walmart Labs as a good example of strategic acquisition (it has built a portfolio of mobile, social and technology firms), and the Nike+ Accelerator program as an incubator paragon.

He added that “Innovation does not need to stop with acquisition and incubation. Consumer goods major P&G entered into an employee exchange program with Google (News - Alert). The initiative was launched to scale up its Internet marketing initiatives, and enable cross-pollination of skills.”

The bring-a-knife-to-a-shootout aspect of companies ignoring what they need to have to win competitively all boils down to corporate culture, he said. But that will have to change as Millennials enter the workforce with an entirely different background and outlook on innovation and how to do business.

“Today, and increasingly so in the future, technical talent will need to speak the language of the business while business professionals must have a complete understanding of IT, way beyond a vague grasp of the right acronyms,” Buvat concluded.




Edited by Maurice Nagle