Building Digital Skills and Talent to Support Transformation

Finding and retaining digital talent is a significant challenge, with the demand for digital skills outpacing the supply of qualified professionals

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face the ongoing challenge of staying ahead of the curve and remaining competitive. The key to achieving success in the digital age is to have a workforce that is equipped with the right skills and expertise to drive transformation. However, finding and retaining digital talent is a significant challenge, with the demand for digital skills outpacing the supply of qualified professionals. So, what’s the best way out?

Upskilling: Empowering employees for digital transformation

Upskilling is an essential element of building digital skills within the workforce. It involves training employees to acquire new digital skills that are relevant to their roles and the company's goals. Upskilling is a cost-effective way to build digital capabilities within the organization, as it reduces the need for hiring new talent and can be customized to the specific needs of the business. Whether through online courses or on-the-job training, upskilling provides flexibility for employees to acquire the skills they need to succeed in the digital age. According to McKinsey & Company, 87% of companies consider upskilling a crucial component of their workforce strategy, highlighting its significance in driving digital transformation and innovation.

Apprenticeships: nurturing digital talent for the future

Apprenticeships offer an effective way to build digital skills and talent within the workforce. By hiring and training individuals seeking to acquire new skills and gain experience, companies can develop a pipeline of talent ready to support digital transformation. Apprenticeships can be tailored to the specific needs of the business, providing a unique opportunity for employees to learn on the job while earning a wage. This approach also promotes diversity and inclusion, as it opens doors for underrepresented groups to develop digital skills and contribute to the digital landscape.

Cultivating a culture of learning and development

Creating a culture of learning and development is a critical element in building digital skills and talent within the workforce. This culture encourages employees to continually develop their skills and acquire new knowledge, fostering innovation and agility. Offering access to online courses, conferences, workshops, and encouraging employees to experiment with new technologies and share their knowledge can help establish a culture of continuous learning. By doing so, companies promote innovation, increase employee engagement, retention, and productivity.

Embracing agility: developing digital talent for the future

The rapidly changing nature of the digital landscape presents a challenge in building digital skills and talent within the workforce. To address this challenge, companies must focus on developing digital talent that is agile, innovative, and adaptable. Soft skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration play a crucial role in driving innovation and solving complex problems in the digital age. Encouraging employees to take on new challenges, experiment with new technologies, and providing opportunities for skill development and gaining valuable experience contribute to the growth of digital talent.


Building digital skills and talent within the workforce is a critical component of success in the digital age. By investing in upskilling, apprenticeships, and fostering a culture of learning and development, companies can bridge the skills gap and ensure that their employees are equipped to drive digital transformation and innovation. It is also essential for companies to regularly assess and evaluate the effectiveness of their digital skills development initiatives. Feedback mechanisms such as surveys, performance evaluations, and regular check-ins can help identify gaps, measure progress, and make necessary adjustments to the training and development programs. By continuously improving and refining their digital skills strategies, companies can ensure that they are effectively building the talent and capabilities needed to support ongoing digital transformation.

Embracing agility and focusing on the development of soft skills further prepares the workforce to thrive in the rapidly changing digital landscape. In a world where digital skills are in high demand, building a digitally skilled and talented workforce is essential for businesses to remain competitive and future-ready.

By investing in these strategies and creating a supportive environment for continuous learning and development, companies can cultivate a digitally skilled and empowered workforce that is capable of driving innovation, adaptability, and long-term success in the digital era.

-      Rahul Rai, the author of this article, is a Next 100 Winner of 2018 and currently working as Global Service Management Leader and ERP Projects at Syngenta Group.


Image source: Freepik

Add new comment