Why Digital Upskilling is a Key Component in Business Transformation   

elev8 - 2 min read

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Several factors contribute to a successful digital transformation. From identifying what technology teams will find helpful to establishing which new digital service lines will add value for customers. 

While the digital transformation process will differ hugely from sector to sector, business to business, and even team to team, there are some universal foundational elements of a successful digital transformation.  

One of the most crucial, yet often overlooked, is employee training, development, and digital upskilling. As art imitates life and life imitates art, business digitalization is driven by people’s acclimatization to digital tools and service lines, and people’s acclimatization to these tools depends on their ability to understand and use them properly.   

How Winners in the War for Talent are Embracing Digital Upskilling  

As a result of this cyclical evolution that is pushing businesses to undertake digital transformations and satisfy employee and customer expectations, the need for tech skills in the workplace is growing – and it is growing fast, seeing businesses like Citibank, for example, investing in the hiring of 8,000 tech staff earlier this year. 

Currently, the demand for tech talent is vastly outpacing the availability, which has brought businesses worldwide to a crossroads. 

However, by building digital upskilling into the core strategy for pursuing digitalization goals, some businesses are gaining ground in what the ECB recently labeled the “war of talent” to hire and retain digital and IT experts.  

Instead of employing new tech workers, some businesses have achieved successful digital transformations by turning in-house and upskilling their existing employees to tackle new technological innovations effectively. For example, Singapore’s DBS has achieved world-renowned success for its digitalization following a commitment to strategic upskilling.  

DBS’s strategy has led to its being heralded as a blueprint for digital transformation. Its decision to bring its tech expertise in-house, transitioning from a fully outsourced employee model to one that grants it complete control of its digital innovation, has been hugely successful.  

Initially focusing investments in Blockchain, IoT, and 5G, DBS is now looking to expand to generative AI and digital twins, allowing it to pioneer the adoption and practical application of new technologies in the global financial services sector.  

To maintain this model and the success it has brought, the bank continues to work to ensure that all employees have the necessary digital skills to embrace technology and find creative digital solutions. DBS has made organizational cultural change and technological cooperation across corporate teams critical elements of its digital transformation. In 2020, it announced a plan to upskill over 8,600 employees digitally.  

A Pipeline of Agile Digital Talent Boosts the Bottom Line 

Businesses across all sectors would do well to learn from and mirror this commitment to developing a sustainable pipeline of agile and skilled digital talent as a core aspect of digital innovation initiatives. Not just because it will ensure that a lack of talent does not hinder digital transformations but because, as DBS has demonstrated, there are considerable cost benefits to this approach: DBS expects to see its profits lift to more than $7.55 billion within the next five years.  

Advising corporations worldwide on large-scale digital upskilling programs, Elev8 has seen how businesses can successfully fuel innovation and growth when teams have the appropriate skills and knowledge in vital areas, including AI, cloud computing, and software development. 

With a strategic approach that combines effective diagnosis and analysis, mapping digital skills to business objectives, and adopting continuous learning, with the proper support, businesses can confidently plan for success in a digital world. 

Contact our team today to discuss your business’ skills needs around digital transformation.