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Closing the Digital Skills Gap

| 4 Min Read

By now, every business most likely knows the importance of digital transformation, with almost 90% of businesses seeing digital as an implicit part of their growth strategies. Digital transformation encompasses the integration of established and emerging digital technologies, everything from implementing cloud services or generative AI within an organisation to digitising supply chains or implementing process automation – leveraging technology to gain a competitive edge is a fixture in modern business practice.

To be successful, though, businesses need to identify the right skills across multiple facets of their operation, a need that often results in upskilling or reskilling requirements spanning the entire organisation in order to close the digital skills gap.

In this article, we look at the top skills required to build and support the right digital transformation strategy for your organisation.


  1. Strategy Building

As with every major business transformation, the crucial first step is to develop the strategy that will define and guide success. This planning stage requires the skills to analyse the company's current position and the available technologies, and to create a relevant and sustainable plan for digital transformation that aligns with the organisation's goals and objectives,providing a clear (and measurable) path toward success. Business leaders need to think strategically, analyse data, and leverage industry knowledge to generate a digital transformation roadmap that is both ambitious and realistic.

  1. Project Management and Agile

With a clear digital transformation strategy in place, the next set of skills required is in project management and Agile methodologies. Project management skills are essential for overseeing the individual endeavours and activities that contribute to the implementation of the digital strategy across the organisation.

Agile methodologies, and the skills to implement and manage them across teams and projects, become incredibly important as organisations transition to implementation phases, allowing for the flexibility and adaptability that is essential if digital initiatives are to be successfully implemented, allowing for rapid reaction to inevitable unexpected changes or setbacks as projects are executed.

  1. Change Management

Digital transformation is not solely a technological endeavour; it's a people-centric process, where minimising negative disruption within the business and ensuring alignment and buy-in from stakeholders is crucial. Change management skills allow project leaders to manage the impact of the digital transformation strategy on teams and individuals within the organisation, with effective communication, leadership and empathy being essential attributes for leaders across the company throughout the implementation of the digital transformation strategy.

  1. Storytelling

The ability to effectively communicate the digital transformation strategy throughout your organisation is often underestimated. Storytelling skills are a powerful tool for leaders to convey the big picture of the strategy and gain buy-in from the wider organisation. Through compelling narratives, leaders can inspire and engage employees, making them more willing participants in the transformation journey.

  1. Customer Experience Management

As with every business transformation, focusing on customer experience is paramount throughout the digital transformation process, to ensure that technologies are deployed in a manner that best supports and engages with the business's customers and their needs. Skilled customer service professionals who can optimise alignment between technology and customer satisfaction are crucial to this process, in terms of creating a digital strategy that meets the needs of your customers, and in communicating changes effectively to provide a seamless customer experience during the rollout of newly implemented technologies.

  1. Financial Management

Digital transformation is a significant financial investment, making effective financial management skills absolutely essential for key staff throughout the business who have budget and business case responsibility for each element of the digital transformation strategy. Ensuring that your staff are equipped with the right financial skills to manage budgets and control costs increases the likelihood that projects will remain financially stable and sustainable..

  1. Digital Literacy

Getting the best results from a digital transformation project will require equipping your staff with the digital literacy skills they need to fully realise the upside potential of the technologies being implemented. Throughout the planning and rollout of new technologies,executives, managers, and leaders throughout the organisation must possess the digital literacy skills to understand the technologies being introduced and the benefits they will bring. As part of any transformation, it is essential to ensure staff at all levels are equipped with the digital skills they require to use and extract optimal performance from newly implemented systems.


  1. Data Analytics

One frequent outcome of digital transformation is enabling access to vastly increased amounts of data. With this increased level of data comes an increase in the importance of the data analytics skills that can be applied to derive meaningful and actionable insights from it, to drive the development of relevant strategies and on-going improvement initiatives. Building data analytics skill sets within your teams will ensure that your organisation is primed to get the best insights and results from the data that your digital transformation will make available.

  1. Cybersecurity

Arguably the most essential component of any company’s digital skills landscape in today’s climate is an understanding of cybersecurity principles, which work to keep your and your clients’ information safe from hacking, cyberattacks, or accidental breaches. This is not only important for your IT, development and cybersecurity teams, but across the whole of your organisation, to equip each of your workers with the skills and knowledge they need to minimise risk and adhere to information, system access and data storage best practices/ procedures.

  1. Digital Marketing

An often overlooked part of digital transformation, digital marketing continues to be an ever more important element of the marketing mix, and this is especially true as your organisation’s systems are updated throughout the transformation. Not only does effective marketing help communicate the changes and benefits of the digital transformation to your customer base, but strong digital marketing skills will help to align the activities of your marketing team with the increased data and interactivity a digital transformation will likely make available to your company, helping marketing teams to take advantage of digital channels and optimise their results.The importance of ensuring that your organisation has the right skills available to implement your digital strategy cannot be overstated. Identifying and closing the digital skills gap that may exist within your teams is key to ensuring a smoother and more successful digital transformation process.


Creating an enterprise-wide reskilling program can be a significant undertaking, especially when simultaneously managing the requirements of a digital transformation project. One approach worth exploring for organisations is to partner with expert education providers who can work alongside you to help accurately identify skills requirements, and develop the upskilling and reskilling programs that will work for your people and organisation. By investing in these critical skills, businesses can navigate the complexities of digital transformation, achieve their strategic goals, and take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital landscape.