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Lack of skills preventing digital transformation, says 65% of decision makers

Research has found skills gaps in data science, AI and infrastructure management are standing in the way of digital transformation

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The majority of decision makers in firms believe a lack of specialist skills is preventing organisations from undergoing digital transformation, research has found.

A study by cloud firm Enoso found 65% of leaders do not think their organisation has the right skills in artificial intelligence (AI), data science or infrastructure management to manage new IT models or applications that would be in place as a result of digital transformation.

However, 47% of organisations currently want to implement digital transformation strategies in order to reinvent their businesses.

Simon Ratcliffe, principal consultant for Ensono, said there has been a 6% year-on-year increase in the number of companies that think digital transformation is important, but these firms must now focus on finding the skills needed to implement new technologies.

“Companies that address their technology infrastructure – be it cloud, legacy or the connections between the various elements – can adopt disruptive technologies and build momentum. The next step on the journey is to execute these business models and for companies to find ways to find the skills needed to do this,”  he said.

There is currently a technology skills gap in the UK leaving firms struggling to find graduates and workers with the skills they need to fill empty roles.

Almost 60% of firms claim to be rethinking their business models as a result of new technologies entering the market, including AI, data analytics and application porgramming interfaces (APIs).

Customer expectations as a result of increasing use of digital technologies is the main driver for digital transformation in 80% of cases, and analytics is becoming important for interpreting customer data and driving a better customer experience for many firms.

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Roles in areas such as data science are currently on the rise, with jobs in the data science field having grown by more than 30% in the first half of 2016.

Cyber security specialists are also in high demand, and experts have said some firms are putting themselves at risk by not attempting so close the cyber skills gap.

But many firms have complained that the candidates currently coming through the pipeline do not have the required skills, and some have pointed fingers at the new computing curriculum for putting focus on the wrong kinds of skills.

Some firms are looking outside of their organisation for help to fill skills gaps, with 41% saying they work with suppliers and more than a third of firms working with a consultancy of design agency to work around internal skills gaps.

More than 40% of firms said their most significant challenge this year will be keeping pace with technology change, and some of the top spending priorities for firms in the next year were cited as cloud, infrastructure and agile transformation investment.

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