Among the many changes emerging from the global pandemic, the acceleration of digital transformation and movement to the cloud have both highlighted and heightened the need for skilled people and effectiveness of work.

McKinsey & Company reported that 87% of companies are either currently facing skills gaps or expect gaps to emerge in the next five years, and the World Economic Forum recently indicated that, on average, 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less. A lack of advanced upskilling programs can inhibit growth opportunities and hinder success. PwC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey found that less than 20% of leaders feel their company has made “significant progress” in establishing an employee upskilling program.

I believe that the companies positioned for the greatest success are those that prioritize employees’ reskilling, upskilling, and continuous learning while recognizing the importance of meeting the learners where they are, empowering them, and providing a broad range of skills to help them succeed.

Providing the Right Knowledge at the Right Time

According to the same PwC survey, upskilling and reskilling programs — especially advanced ones — create positive impact across organizations, achieving outcomes that include:

  • 60% stronger corporate workforce productivity
  • 43% higher workforce productivity
  • 37% greater business growth
  • 51% greater innovation and accelerated digital transformation
  • 35% reduction in skill gaps and mismatches

Truly advanced and effective upskilling offerings are those that offer the right information at the right time in the right work context. With the increased number of remote and distributed workers today, employees require self-led enablement—anytime and anywhere—to be in the driver’s seat for their own careers and learning journeys.

By regularly offering new and engaging content, businesses can empower employees to make digital transformation and upskilling efforts successful. Instead of sending an overload of information, it is critical to meet learners in their consumption mode—when they are in an active learning mode and in the mindset to learn and absorb specific material. This can even empower them to share knowledge and collaborate with their peers.

To that end, SAP solutions like SAP Enable Now offer agile, step-by-step guidance that meets every worker’s own pace and learning style. With the flexibility that SAP Enable Now provides, organizations can customize learning environments and formats to fit how and when individuals learn best.

Moving Beyond New Technology

Technology adoption is crucial. The greatest software can only achieve the expected success when people use it to deliver new levels of business performance. To dramatically increase the speed of adoption, companies must provide next generation employee-driven learning. To support users with a simplified experience and instantly enable them on software usage without formal training, companies should provide dynamic step-by-step instructions and information.

What’s more, the need for upskilling and reskilling goes beyond product-related skills. Business skills are also necessary ingredients for productivity and broader success. With enablement strategies often already based on the technological aspects, advanced enablement programs stand out when they incorporate soft skills that enhance other elements of a working business environment—both in person and virtual.

To further position users for success across work environments, companies must empower users with agency in their roles and skill sets. Organizations can support their people by providing guidance for specific business needs at the precise moment of need, particularly in the digital age. As such, SAP has uniquely designed the SAP Enable Now solution to cultivate key ingredients for success through its ability to produce or adapt any kind of enablement content in multiple formats.

Companies are also recognizing the value of continuous learning with SAP. According to Yuliya Kuratova, HRD, Alcohol Siberian Group (ASG), “SAP Enable Now helps us guarantee that only trained users will work in our new system based on SAP S/4HANA. Errors occur less, and our specialists feel more confident and in control.”

Dirk Goette, head of Academy at itelligence AG, shared that the digital platform “allows our consultants to complete training courses at their own pace without having to travel to a training center. The learning content is well structured and is being used by our consultants and customers alike.”

Aakashi Sunil Shah, senior analyst at Capgemini, agreed that “SAP Global Certification gives more and better opportunities to individuals. There’s a certain level of recognition and respect among peers, professionally and personally.”

Looking ahead, organizations undoubtedly require innovative technology, business innovation, and a talented, skilled workforce. SAP will continue to strengthen the enablement of the SAP user to meet business user needs with the critical ingredients for when, where, and how they learn and perform best.

In the end, it is the enabled user who makes digital transformation a success.

Eva Zauke is the senior vice president and global head of SAP Enterprise Adoption.