Technical skills and talent in demand
Posting date:18 Sep 2020

In my last blog, I wrote about the necessary workforce competencies and the type of cultural mindset that is needed to make digital transformation a success in this new era. But what are the technical skills and areas of expertise that support digital transformation? Here are five areas where talent is in high demand right now:

Talent in demand

1. Strategy & Transformation

Increasingly organisations are looking to the future, modelling different crisis scenarios, investing in new technology and exploring new customer engagement models or partnerships. The question of who is thinking strategically, beyond the business proposition as it stands today and shaping how it may look in 3, 5- or 10-years’ time is paramount to an organisation’s survival and future growth. 

Many organisations are facing wholesale changes to their operating model which is a highly complex and often daunting piece of work. As such, there has been a proliferation of new roles in the areas of strategy, innovation and change management. ‘Directors of Strategy’, ‘Project or Programme Directors’ and ‘Change Managers’ have become common place across many different types and size of organisation. 

However, the unprecedented speed with which organisations have had to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its ensuing challenges, has triggered an acceleration of digital transformation projects and compounded the need for senior professionals who can facilitate transformative change, alongside the complexities of a remote working environment. 

2. Cloud-based services

Unsurprisingly, as we have transitioned to remote working, skills in cloud-based services such as AWS, Google Cloud and Azure, have and will continue to be of critical importance. The shift to cloud based technology will no doubt remain prevalent even when we all get back to the office without restrictions. Professionals that have the skills to deploy cloud-based services as needed will be required to ensure continuous and reliable connectivity to these systems to ensure business continuity and productivity. 

3. Cyber security

Remote working increases the risk of cyberattacks as hackers target people’s increased use of and dependence on digital tools, data sharing and communication. As such, organisations must enable secure remote working using a virtual private network (VPN) to create an encrypted connection from the user's computer to their company IT system. However, even businesses with a quality VPN may need to improve the server capacity and network security to enable their entire workforce to use it at once and work remotely, securely. This means that top cyber security talent, already in high demand, will remain indispensable for employers as agile working practices continue for the foreseeable future. 

4. Data analytics 

As organisations race to adapt to different ways of working and evolve best practice across their systems, people and processes, Data Scientists and Analysts continue to be in high demand. Modelling the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and understanding evolving customer behaviour is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation right now. 

Data analysts who can provide the accurate analysis and interpretation of data, to the right people at the right time, will provide much needed foresight in these unprecedented times.  

5. Automation & AI

To help reduce administrative tasks and enhance process efficiencies, within and between different systems and departments, most organisations have invested in automation technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to some degree. The specific artificial intelligence or automation technology, its application and tools available (such as Robotics Process Automation, Chatbots or CRM) varies across industry and profession. 

Professionals who have demonstrable experience of either developing, implementing or integrating this technology within and between business functions and adapting it to the new virtual world of work, will be highly prized.  

As well as investing in technology and talent, organisations must look at their people from top to bottom and involve individuals who can provide ideas, or champion and lead transformative change. Those that believe it will all be driven from the boardroom and do not engage a diverse group in tackling change may well struggle. 

Understanding individual challenges in remote project delivery requires diverse perspectives and agile leadership that utilises the capabilities of individuals from every corner of the business. In an increasingly geographically agnostic business world, leaders have to understand how they can embrace technology, help their people to bring about better customer experiences and deliver lasting change that enables them to remain relevant. After all, how can you compete if you don’t evolve your operating model in today’s rapidly changing world?

Those that can win both the hearts and minds of their workforce will successfully deliver the most complex of technical change with the highest levels of engagement. It’s strange how even the most baffling of technical puzzles always falls back to people!  

Download our insight paper

For more on this topic, download a full version of our insight paper 'Digital Transformation: What does it take to succeed?,' where we explore what constitutes the right mindset needed for change and share the technical skills and talent in demand right now.

Share your insights

 If you need help finding talent with the necessary competencies to transform your business please get in touch. We’d also love to hear from leaders on how you are progressing your digital transformation projects in these challenging times.