By Heide Abelli
Learning support for digital transformation is garnering a lot of attention in the L&D departments of most organizations these days — and for a good reason. As the primary driver behind the merging of business and management skills with traditional IT skills, it is pushing organizations to develop digital intelligence and to create new organizational structures and roles to support new competencies.
These are big changes, and we’re only at the beginning of what digital transformation will ultimately require or demand of an organization and its workforce. However, as with most new concepts, it helps if we all reading from the same page. So, what exactly do we mean by digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the realignment of, or new investment in, technology, business models, and processes to drive new value and experiences for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy. Executives in all industries are using digital advances such as analytics, mobility, social media, smart embedded devices and both new technologies and traditional technologies to change customer relationships, internal processes, business models and value propositions.
Digital transformation enables an organization to more effectively compete in the ever-changing digital economy, one where individuals, irrespective of the industry, are using advances such as sophisticated data analytics, the Internet of Things, social media, smart embedded devices and a combination of new technologies and traditional technologies to change customer relationships, internal processes, business models and value propositions.
Organizations now compete in a world where industries have gone from organized, structured value systems to ecosystems and where consumer experience now includes the notion of “24×7 everywhere” access and deep personalization of the customer experience. These are dramatic changes and placing huge demands on organizations.
And not a single industry is immune. From healthcare, with the concept of care anywhere and patient engagement at scale, or the mining industry where we see autonomous operations, robotics, 3D printing and smart sensors, to the media industry where personalized advertising, the application of data science and hyper-personalization are almost de rigueur. Digital transformation is impacting every sector.
What does all of this mean?
Fundamentally it means technical functions and traditional business functions need to join forces in new ways and organizations need to adopt new modes of operating. We see shorter and shorter product development cycles as organizations move towards lean product management approaches and agile processes. Companies are also adopting business models based on “product as a service” models and products are becoming part of broader systems. We’re also seeing that organizations are focusing more on customer success as they establish “customer engagement teams” and customer experience roles. Big data and the analytics of this data are now compelling sources of competitive advantage. Digital transformation is also resulting in unprecedented levels of cross-functional coordination and deep collaboration among individuals on mission-driven teams.
To support all of the above, organizations need new skillsets and capabilities which are in high demand but short supply. Despite their expectations, few employees think their organizations are adequately preparing them for digital transformation. In a recent survey on digital transformation in their organizations, only 17% of employee respondents felt their organization is prepared for the road ahead. 
This disconnect is troubling and needs our attention. And it is a disparity made all the more confusing when we consider the following:
Companies who embrace digital transformation enjoy 16% higher revenues, generate 26% more profit and have 12% greater market valuations. 
So why is it that less than half (46%) of companies are investing in skills to prepare the organization for digital transformation? Why then do 77% of organizations consider missing digital skills a key hurdle to digital transformation? And if that is the case, why would only 40% of companies align training efforts to overall digital strategies? 
Clearly, L&D departments and HR functions have a lot of work ahead to ready their organizations for all the implications of digital transformation.
Aware of the enormity of this task, we are preparing engaging and powerful content and learning resources across content portfolios (business skills, IT and developer skills and digital skills) that will enable companies to arm their workforces to fight the battles ahead on the digital transformation front.
To learn more:
 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW & DELOITTE UNIVERSITY PRESS
 DIGITAL TALENT GAP CARD
 DIGITAL TALENT GAP CARD