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Users struggling to get hold of digital skills

Research has found that a lot of customers are not able to take advantage of the latest technology because they do not have the in-house expertise needed to adapt and adopt it

The theory goes that when a customer is experiencing a skills shortage there is a clear opportunity for the channel to step in and ease the pain.

If that's correct then the Business Barometer findings from The Open University, which have been analyised by, will provide partners with a hit list of areas where they can assist customers.

Research showed that cloud based infrastructure and cyber security were the digital skills that business leaders felt that their organisations were lacking and a third accepted that they could not get to grips with new technologies because of a lack of expertise.

There was also a feeling among quite a few of those business leaders surveyed by the Open University that senior managers did not have the digital proficiency to adapt and adopt the latest technologies. At the other end of the corporate flowchart the feeling was that new entrants, graduates and apprentices did have a firmer grip on the expertise needed.

The Open University found that the country’s skills gap is costing businesses more than £2bn a year in higher salaries, recruitment costs and temporary staffing. 

Steve Hill, external engagement director at the Open University, said that the current landscape was making getting hold of skilled staff more of an issue.

"The UK challenge of finding talent with the right skills means that businesses need to look at recruitment, development and retention differently. Now faced with a shrinking talent pool, exacerbated by the uncertainties of Brexit, it is more important that employers invest in developing their workforce," he said.

Joseph Scott, marketing manager at, said that digital transformation was a challenge that most companies were wrestling with.

“Technology has drastically transformed the working world. It has allowed organisations to conduct and manage various processes/operations in a more efficient manner. Despite this, the consistent evolution of existing technology and the emergence of new technology has made it difficult for employees to stay in line with the technological changes taking place around them. In turn, this has led to a lot of employees not having the required knowledge and skills to implement certain digital practices which can really drive a business forward," he said.

"This research certainly highlights the digital skills UK organisations are most lacking and at which level of the business this digital skills gap is most prevalent. Going forward, senior decision makers should plan and make an active effort to provide the human resource in their organisation the relevant training on any major digital tool/asset they desire to integrate within their business," he added. 

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