Digital skills are quickly becoming obsolete, according to data shared during the Gartner 2021 Digital Workplace Summit on Monday. One-third of tech job skills in 2017 are fading out when compared to 2021 job postings.
The skill shift strains tech talent strategies, a top point of contention for organizations, according to Amanda Grainger, senior principal analyst at Gartner, speaking at the event. "Over half of the total skills needed in the average job are new, so they're displacing the old skills," Grainger said.
IT leaders list insufficient access to IT resources and a lack of depth and breadth in digital skills as the top two barriers to digital business, according to data cited by Grainger.
Keeping companies afloat as digital trends change is an uphill battle. It means keeping work methods and the workers driving daily operations up to date.
For supply chains, this is a familiar and ongoing struggle as companies incorporate automation, robotics and increase their reliance on data analytics. With this evolution in technology comes the need to stand up a labor force that can operate and oversee it.
CompTIA expects skills gaps to expand in the coming years as technologies evolve. Forty-two percent of companies say they expect to take on new upskilling and reskilling efforts among current employees, according to survey data from the IT trade group.
To help close the skills gap and give employees new opportunities, Amazon offered IT training to employees at Amazon fulfillment centers in Dallas-Fort Worth and Baltimore last year as demand for supplies surged during the pandemic.
In 2019, Amazon announced plans to commit $700 million to upskill 100,000 employees in the U.S. by 2025, prioritizing "software engineering, information technology, AWS cloud and machine learning."
Data can assist organizations looking to shape their tech talent upskilling strategies.
"Start by harnessing the data you already have," Grainger said. In organizations with existing learning technology tools, the embedded data analytics capabilities will help inform what, when and how learners are engaging with digital learning materials.
With data, companies can define what skills are required across the organization, create top reskilling and upskilling priorities, and then "do some external benchmarking and compare and observe what skills gaps exist in the external talent ecosystem," said Grainger.
Designing learning programs can be costly and time-consuming, Grainger said. Companies stand to gain by balancing curated and self-produced content. A number of providers — among them Udemy, Coursera and LinkedIn Learning — offer curated L&D content on a subscription basis.
A.B. Brown contributed to this report.