The rate of technological transformation is exponential. For businesses worldwide, keeping up with the pace of change is vital in order to remain competitive.
However, a lack of technology talent is hampering efforts to keep up with advancements, with Indeed finding that a dearth of skilled employees is leading to slower innovation and product development, and negatively impacting company revenues.
To remain ahead of the charge in the technology race, organisations must look to existing employees, focusing on the development of skills in-house to address the imbalance between the demand and supply for talent.
Businesses must keep employees equipped with the latest skills, aligned to business needs, in order to compete and meet market demand.
While traditional methods, such as classroom-based training, have long been used to teach employees, many businesses find these methods ineffective.
Every individual has their own unique learning techniques, skill levels and areas of expertise, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach to skill development is unlikely to work. With traditional training, organisations risk perpetuating their skills gap, leaving them unable to embrace new technologies or effectively support customers.
However, forward-thinking companies are embracing a more effective approach.
On-demand digital courses, tailored to each employee with individual learning pathways, are efficient tools that foster engagement in learning and keep employees working towards business goals.
Available on cloud-based platforms, employees can choose when and how they learn - be it in bite-sized chunks or dedicated hours.
This is the preferred approach at Fujitsu. With its global client base, the company found that customer demands were changing, and there was a need to reskill its workforce to continue delivering high standards of service.
Fujitsu was determined to become more agile and opted for a tailored approach to training, using Pluralsight to develop job-specific learning pathways for UK employees. By working with technology experts, Fujitsu was able to match pathways to the needs of different teams, adapting as and when new requirements arose.
Businesses that out-compete peers are those that use data and insights to make fast and accurate decisions.
With a cloud-based technology platform for skill development, company's can identify where skills gaps exist, use this data to understand where up-skilling is required and implement learning pathways to ensure that training is relevant and efficient.
In Fujitsu's case, this has involved a focus on AWS, DevOps, Security and Agile software programmes, which have been dropped into online channels for employees to focus their development.
Moreover, it’s critical that this data is measurable if leaders are to understand whether a skills gap has been closed via the training programme. This digital-first approach can provide in-depth analytics to track employee progress and quantify how new skills are supporting company objectives.
Investment in skills development is also a sign of trust in a workforce. Empowering team members with the tools to take control of their development not only boosts morale, it also increases engagement with business strategy.
Research from Harvard Business Review found that 71% of employers believe that high levels of employee engagement is one of the driving factors of business success.
Fujitsu has encouraged self-learning by supporting employees to set up social learning groups, where they share knowledge and foster a culture of continuous learning.
As the rate of technological change increases, skill development must focus on equipping teams for the future.
However, research from Fujitsu has found that nearly half (44%) of leaders fear that their organisation will miss out on the benefits of new technologies in the future through lack of planning.
Although the continuous development of technology such as artificial intelligence makes planning for the future difficult, this shouldn’t discourage businesses from working to equip employees with the skills that will help them maintain their competitive edge in the future.
Investing in DevOps and cybersecurity, for instance, helps to future-proof an organisation as it becomes more prevalent.
The pace of technological change poses a significant challenge for most organisations, but with flexible, data-driven training methods in place, it is possible to embrace these changes and empower team members to upskill effectively.
As a result, organisations can feel confident that they will be able to continue meeting customer demands and offering quality products and services, remaining competitive overall.