Digital Transformation Is More Important Than Ever, Digital Skills Gap Remains a Challenge, Study Shows


WALLDORF — Companies regard digital transformation as being highly important, but many have yet to define a strategy that would equip their employees with the skills necessary for digital literacy.

These are the findings of a study carried out by the Technical University of Munich and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP). Titled “Skills for Digital Transformation,” the survey gathered data from 116 business and IT decision makers from 18 countries. It followed up on initial research conducted in 2015.

The 2015 survey found that 53 percent of respondents felt that their company’s personnel did not possess the skills necessary for successful digital transformation. In 2017, this number increased to 64 percent. Possible explanations are the increasing speed of technological innovation and the increasing awareness regarding digital transformation. Over time, executives may have developed a better sense for what skills their company needs and what skills are available internally.

Although 90 percent of respondents perceive digital transformation as being important for their company’s overall business strategy, targeted skill development is a rarity. Only 16 percent of respondents had set up a dedicated recruitment or training program to build up the skill base needed to shape the digital future of their company. There is widespread consensus among respondents regarding the digital skill sets needed. To maximize the business potential of digitalization, companies must work with employees to instill the knowledge and skills necessary for a seamless transition.

“Digital talent is threatening to become the major bottleneck of digitalization in the industry. A deficit in digital skills is still among the top barriers to digital transformation,” said Bernd Welz, executive vice president and chief knowledge officer, Products and Innovation, SAP. “Investment in the education and enablement of employees has never been more important, as the development of digital literacy in the workforce will enable a seamless path to digital transformation for businesses.”

Prof. Dr. Krcmar, chair for Information Systems, Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich, said: “This study stresses that many organizations are still in the orientation phase of digital transformation. As new technologies continue to emerge, companies must be proactive in establishing a defined path to digital implementation that includes all business areas and levels.”

More information about the two studies will be shared in a Webinar on Sept. 14, 2017. To read the complete IDT study and learn more about its findings, visit the Technical University of Munich website.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Media Contacts:

Martin Gwisdalla, SAP, +49 (6227) 7-67275, martin.gwisdalla@sap.com, CET
Erin Albright, FleishmanHillard, +1 (617) 692-0543, erin.albright@fleishman.com, ET

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