UK businesses must find new ways of building tech talent to emerge stronger

BrandPost By
Oct 23, 2020
IT Leadership

The pandemic increased pressure to deliver large-scale transformations and has shifted the tech skills gap from shortage to drought. Fortunately, there are innovative ways of building the required skills.

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Credit: getty

COVID-19 delivered the most extraordinary transformation in our way of working and living that we will ever experience. With first-hand experience of both employee and customer appetite for change, business leaders are emerging with a genuine understanding of the art of the possible. As a result, private and public sector organisations across the UK are now rapidly accelerating their digital transformation programmes.

Supercharging digital transformation is not about short-term survival. Organisations across the UK are reinventing business models, ramping up customer-centric capabilities and delivering new products and services faster with agile ways of working learnt through the crisis. They are doing this with the goal of emerging stronger, winning the fight and winning the future. 

The ability to complete these digital projects and then harness the transformative powers is, however, dependent on the skills of the people charged with their delivery. Having entered the pandemic with a pre-existing tech skills shortage, the increased pressure to deliver large-scale transformation is likely to move the UK tech skills gap from shortage to drought.

So how can businesses achieve the impossible?

Typically, when confronted with the need to carry out a new project, an organisation will hire-in the required skills. In the past, the gap was met with very experienced but expensive contractors that could start quickly and hit the ground running. The generally accepted downside of this approach is the high cost, as well as the risk that contractors then depart with all the IP.

Increasingly organisations are now hiring rather than looking to contractors to fill the skills gap. This has the benefit of building core competencies internally and delivering competitive advantage. The challenge is that every other organisation is looking to do the same.

Fortunately, there are other more innovative ways of building the skills required that take advantage of a wider and more diverse pool of potential talent.

The first is to upskill existing people within your organisation with the latest tech skills. The second is to reskill existing people within the organisation, particularly those that may be at risk of redundancy as businesses restructure post-Covid. Organisations such as Nationwide have already completed this type of programme very successfully with employees moving from a wide range of departments to tech roles. The third is to engage trained talent that is less experienced but technically competent with the capacity to grow. Typically, individuals will have been selected for their potential to learn tech, rather than experience or qualifications, and then passed through an intensive training programme to develop the latest in-demand tech skills.

Irrespective of the digital transformation journey each business is engaged in, now is the time to invest in talent. The new skills fostered will create efficiency and agility in your organisation and provide resilience for the future. Talent building must become a key pillar of any transformation strategy.

Download our white paper to find out more about the benefits of these three approaches.

Now is the ideal time to invest in change, accelerate your performance and emerge stronger.