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Closing in on the data skills gap

Matthew Johnston, Area Vice President, ASEAN & Korea, Commvault | Nov. 10, 2016
While technology plays a big part in this equation, it’s not just the machines that make the magic happen, businesses need talented people equipped with a data-first mindset to transform your data into a powerful strategic asset.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The world in which we live, play and work is transforming right before our eyes. In today's rapidly changing business and technology landscape, companies need to keep up quickly, or else risk being disrupted.

The ability to succeed in this digital era means increasing the speed at which ideation, innovation and collaboration can happen. While technology plays a big part in this equation, it's not just the machines that make the magic happen, businesses need talented people equipped with a data-first mindset to transform your data into a powerful strategic asset.

According to Singapore's Economic Development Board, the data analytics sector alone is set to contribute at least $1 billion to the economy each year by 2017. However, while 94 percent of Southeast Asia's business leaders agreed that it is important to have a data-savvy workforce, there is a skills gap that needs to be addressed in order for organisations to fully move ahead with a data-driven culture. Only 39 percent of those polled felt that they have employees with relevant data skills to help them identify and achieve business outcomes.

While some organisations are trying to solve the issue through training and contingent hires, which may partly solve the problem, others are taking on a more direct approach by attracting and managing the talent needed to make this shift.

Businesses need to realise that talent and technology together can drive their data transformation and fast track business success. The key to this is to ensure they have the right talent in their organisation.

1. Groom the next generation of talent

One way businesses can help bring into the market a steady pipeline of talent who are equipped with the required knowledge, and who can leverage the tools for the age of big data is to groom the next generation of data professionals through public-private partnerships.

This is where students in tertiary institutes are trained in the necessary skill sets through hands-on experience to implement or build modern, agile IT infrastructure that can help businesses respond to new and changing business requirements more rapidly. Private sector companies need to take the lead in supporting this upgrading of skill sets and cultivate a new generation of trained IT professionals who can then be matched to opportunities across various industries - not just the IT sector.

2. Mine your existing workforce

Companies searching to fill a skills gap usually start searching externally. However, with a little training, most enterprises are surprised to learn that there are employees who may already have the skills, or who could easily be redeployed, to fill the gap.

 

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