All employees should have ‘tech roles’ in today’s enterprise

Companies should not be dismayed at the gap in technology talent since in today’s economy, most of us are digitally-conversant.
24 December 2020

All employees should have ‘technology roles’ in today’s enterprise. Source: Shutterstock

  • Demand for tech talent has evolved rapidly since the start of the pandemic. 
  • The only way to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis; companies should reskill their workforces so every employee is well versed in technology.

Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. You can pretty much buy any technology, but your ability to adapt to a more digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your own and others’ potential.

Undeniably, this year’s pandemic has presented us with the vast opportunity to change — rapidly in order to survive. As Winston Churchill once said, we should never waste a good crisis. Perhaps this is the biggest gift of the current pandemic, that it provides us with the opportunity to rethink our potential and ensure that we are positioning ourselves toward the future

While the future is more ambivalent and uncertain than ever, inevitably the future is to focus on reskilling and upskilling people so that they are better equipped to adjust to change. In a 2017 McKinsey Global Institute report, it was estimated that as many as 375 million workers—or 14% of the global workforce—would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of automation and artificial intelligence. 

However, a more recent McKinsey Global Survey indicated that 87% of executives said they were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of the respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem.

Include all employees in “technology roles”

To be frank, the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more urgent. Workers across industries must figure out how they can adapt to rapidly changing conditions, and companies have to learn how to match those workers to new roles and activities

But, with a growth mindset and the opportunities to reskill and upskill, it is no longer as difficult for people who are not technically-trained to contribute to technology-driven innovations. Take Singapore for instance. Recently communications and Information Minister S Iswaran recently said at Parliament that while technology talent in Singapore has grown by about 10,000 year-on-year and he reckons demand for tech talent will continue to outstrip supply. 

To put it into context, prior to Covid-19, the Infocomm Media Development Authority projected that Singapore’s demand for technology talent will increase by another 61,600 by 2021. That said, Covid has only widened this gap as the demand for tech talent to help companies compete in a digital world increases.  In fact, despite the Singapore job market showing small declines due to the pandemic, financial institutions are still moving forward and continuing to hire tech talent, according to Financial Services Tech Job report.

Tech talent continues to be a hot commodity 

In a recent LinkedIn Business’ report, tech positions are among the most in-demand jobs with the fastest-growing demand. “Cloud Engineer jumped 12 spots in our rankings of the most in-demand roles, making it the job with the seventh-most job posts on LinkedIn in November,” it stated, attributing it to the working from home culture. “The cloud services that remote workers rely on have never been so business-critical.”

But cloud computing professionals aren’t alone — technical roles like Oracle Specialist, User Interface Designer, and all kinds of developers also saw big spikes in demand over the past month. As expected, tech companies have done relatively well during the pandemic, but it’s not just the tech sector hiring tech talent. Companies in virtually all industries have a greater need for engineering as they’ve had to pivot to more online operations — accelerating a trend that’s been growing for years.