What are the digital skills businesses most lack?

Posted on 4 Sep 2019 by Jonny Williamson

The ability to successfully develop and manage a move to cloud-based infrastructure, and adequate cyber security competencies are the two digital skills that senior business figures believe their organisation most lacks.

Businesses are also struggling to integrate new technologies and/or data sources to existing business practices because they don’t have the sufficient digital skills to do so, alongside a general ‘digital naivety’ hindering organisations from embracing potentially valuable emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation.

digital skills organisation most lacks - infographic courtesy of The Knowledge Academy.

These are the key findings from The Knowledge Academy’s analysis of research by The Open University, who surveyed 500 senior business figures (chief technology officers, HR directors, HR managers) from across the UK to identify the digital skills they think their organisation is most ‘lacking’ presently.

Only 17% of the authoritative professionals say they don’t have enough generalist digital skills in their company; a further 20% admit they have an internal shortage of the expertise required to effectively administer and operate network systems.

Additionally, upon further analysis of the study, The Knowledge Academy discovered that the senior business figures think a digital skills shortage is most problematic in the position of intermediate managers (23%).

Subsequently, 20% feel senior managers in their company don’t have the necessary digital proficiency to adapt and adopt to the needed technological changes/advances.

digital skills positions most problematic - infographic courtesy of The Knowledge Academy.

Interestingly, the senior business leaders rank the digital skills deficit of those at director level in their organisation as follows: director (10%), managing director or above (10%) and board level director or partner (9%).

Opposingly, a mere 1% of the high-ranking personnel believe apprentices employed by them have a scarcity when it comes their digital prowess. While, just 2% echo the same sentiments about their entry level workers and graduates.

When questioned, the professionals revealed the ways in which the digital skills gap is negatively affecting their firm’s current performance:

  • decreased productivity (56%)
  • inability to implement time/cost-saving technology (47%)
  • less agile/adaptable (43%)
  • reduced competitiveness (41%)
  • lower profitability (37%)

*Infographics courtesy of The Knowledge Academy