Training tech talent for post-digitization roles

Training tech talent for post-digitization roles

29.Aug.2017
Tim Proehm

Digital transformation is top of mind for most companies. Whether organizations choose a hybrid platform or a completely cloud-based solution, digitizing their networks and infrastructures allows them to take advantage of comprehensive enterprise solutions that facilitate interaction with consumers, streamline operational processes, and enable more effective collaboration with vendors and partners.

Using top external talent to implement digitization

Because digital transformation can give companies a significant competitive advantage, it’s logical that they want to achieve it as soon as possible. To do this, they need specialized tech and engineering talent who can design and implement their new digital infrastructures, as well as the robust cybersecurity measures needed to protect them. Many organizations are approaching their digitization as a project, hiring top consultants and niche talent to perform the necessary work within a limited timeline. Yet relatively few are considering the talent challenges of maintaining their new digital infrastructures once they’re in place and the consultants have moved on to their next projects.

The importance of planning ahead

In the mid- to late 1990s, companies started to create networks that consisted of hardware elements including computers, external hard drives, routers, and printers. The simultaneous rise of the Internet required them to install various cybersecurity solutions. As these networks expanded and cloud-based products became available, many companies simply added new software, hardware, apps, cloud-based storage, and security solutions indiscriminately. This resulted in what’s sometimes referred to as “accidental architecture.” The problem with accidental architecture is that it provides no centralized oversight and as a result, compromises efficiency and security.

Fortunately, companies have the opportunity to address these types of issues during the digitization process. But what’s so important to understand is that a similar situation could arise in companies that don’t have the right skills in-house to maintain and upgrade their new infrastructures after digitization.

And with advanced automation, the IoT, APIs, hyperconnectivity, and the ever-evolving borderless enterprise, networks are more complicated and vulnerable than ever before. That’s why it’s critical for companies to plan ahead to ensure they have skilled tech talent to keep their organizations organized, streamlined, and protected from ever-more sophisticated cyber threats.

Upskilling existing tech talent

Clearly, with tech talent in short supply and the rapid pace of technological advancement making it impossible predict future skill needs, employers need to devise future-proof talent strategies. One of the most effective strategies is to upskill existing tech employees. Specialized consultants can initially train them in the skills needed to manage every aspect of their digital infrastructures, focusing on areas of importance such as cybersecurity, processing efficiency, the IoT, app management, and database management. Then, as new technologies are adopted, employers can provide additional training to bring their employees up to speed.

To make the most of digital transformation, companies need both short- and long-term talent strategies. By thinking proactively and investing in upskilling existing employees, employers will not only have the skills they need in-house, they will also create a more loyal, engaged workforce.