Digital talent to drive new wave of business transformation

September, 2021

Enterprises and IT service providers need to revisit their talent strategy and prioritize digital skills. The accelerated pace of digital transformation and a hybrid working environment have put a new emphasis on reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce. IT service providers are seeing 30% growth in deals involving digital technology like cloud and cybersecurity, and they have made significant investments in recruiting new talent, particularly in nearshore environments, closer to where the work originates. All of this pressure on an already thin talent pool requires planning, and perhaps a good partner. These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Digital Talent Capability 2021 RadarViewTM. This RadarView provides a view into major technology, outsourcing, and talent-related trends shaping the market and presents recommendations to organizations on how to cope with a digital talent shortage.

Avasant evaluated 44 providers using three dimensions: digital strategy and talent capabilities, talent transformation, and talent investments and innovation. Of those 44 providers, we recognized 20 as having brought the most value to the market during the past 12 months.

The report recognizes service providers in four categories:

    • Leaders: Accenture, HCL, IBM, Infosys, TCS, and Wipro
    • Innovators: Atos, Capgemini, Cognizant, NTT DATA, and Tech Mahindra
    • Disruptors: DXC, LTI, Mindtree, Mphasis, and Zensar
    • Challengers: Birlasoft, Coforge, GAVS Tech, and Happiest Minds

Figure 1 from the full report illustrates these categories:

Digital TalentMS2021 - Digital talent to drive new wave of business transformation

Renée Lahti, Distinguished Avasant Fellow, congratulated the winners noting, “A need for increased business resiliency and digitalization is pushing enterprises to embark on workforce transformation. Digital talent has become crucial for enabling hybrid working and creating the customer engagement models of tomorrow.” Avasant defines digital talent as skills, skill sets, roles, and profiles spanning next generation of skills that helps in implementing a successful digital transformation program.

Some of the findings from the full report include the following. Enterprises should:

  1. Perform a digital talent audit and build a robust talent strategy.
    • Enterprises must realize that talent is more important than technology to achieving digital transformation goals. To identify what talent and skills are necessary post-pandemic, businesses need to do an internal talent audit to identify digital skills in shortage and rethink talent strategies.
    • Both hard digital/technology skills and positions (cognitive, data scientists, DevOps, scrum, full-stack engineers) as well as positions with soft digital skills (customer centricity, digital selling, design thinking) have a role to play.
  1. Develop a self-learning environment that drives development of digital skills.
    • According to the World Economic Forum, 94% of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job by 2025, as compared to 65% in 2018. Reskilling/upskilling remains a cheaper option than external hiring.
    • Businesses must employ different strategies and use technology to reskill/upskill employees. Examples include reskilling/upskilling programs, e-learning solutions, and partnerships with academic institutions.
  1. Accelerate the outsourcing of digital projects.
    • As businesses pivot to hybrid working, they must reevaluate business goals and IT workforce strategies. With increased automation, a trend toward OPEX, and the quest to accelerate digital transformation, it is imperative to consider vendor consolidation, offshoring, and forming deeper supplier partnerships.
    • As IT investment rises, IT training budgets need to be increased. Also, companies must reduce IT staff turnover and consider deploying temporary workforce strategies.
  1. Reinvent talent management to close the digital talent gap.
    • Across the talent transformation value chain spanning digital talent acquisition, digital talent development, and talent retention, companies must redeploy strategies and technology to hire/recruit talent, attract diverse talent pools, and improve overall learning and development.
    • Employee experience and well-being are other key, post-pandemic focus areas. Examples include virtual training, gamification, and using digital technologies to create new employee experiences.

“Enterprises are seeking assistance to address the digital talent gap. Service providers are scaling their internal reskilling/upskilling programs to respond. A good partner is the fastest way to bridge the gap, along with proactive internal programs.” said Shwetank Saini, Avasant Research Leader.

The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of the 24 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting customers in digital transformation.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of the Digital Talent Capability 2021 RadarViewTM (click for pricing).