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Digital Competencies: How fit are German companies?

Digital Competencies: How fit are German companies?

Our world is becoming more digital - both in our private and business lives. Digitalization has long since made its way into companies across all industries. The Corona pandemic has further accelerated digitization processes. The associated upheavals offer both companies and employees considerable opportunities. At the same time, organizational structures and processes, even strategies and business models, must be adapted to the new environment. This also changes the demands on employees and managers. 

After all, comprehensive skills are required to master the digital transformation. But despite all the excitement about the dawn of the digital age, one thing is clear: There is still a lot to be done - and in almost all areas of expertise. How do things look in German companies? Where is there an acute need to catch up? And what can companies do about it?

Need to catch up in almost all areas

Whether it's the secure and efficient use of search engines and directories, the evaluation and analysis of digital content and the recognition of fake news, or working in virtual teams and the creation and communication of digital content: The list of digital skills is long. The greatest deficits here are in the handling of data and in the area of cyber security. But there is also a clear need to catch up in the formation, communication and collaboration of virtual teams as well as in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

And high demands are also placed on managers to master digitization: In addition to a high willingness to learn and agile project management, above all the ability to recognize system interrelationships and solve complex problems is considered a key competence for mastering digital transformation. Yet despite the length of the list of required digital competencies, many employees have still not recognized the scope of digitization. As a result, companies inevitably find themselves in a state of tension. On the one hand, employees need to be educated about the importance of digital competencies; on the other, they need to be provided with the knowledge and know-how they lack in dealing with digital content in order to develop and expand the necessary skills and abilities.

Demand and supply: companies at odds

More than half of the employees see the responsibility for developing digital skills as lying with the company's management and IT department. Above all, internal and external training offers are seen as the key to greater digital competence. At the same time, however, studies have shown that almost 30% of employees do not take part in such training courses. The main reason for this, apart from a lack of time, is the lack of commitment on the part of the company itself. The corresponding training courses are either not supported or not even offered in the first place. 

And this is despite the fact that around half of the companies see a high or even very high demand for individual training among their own employees – a contradiction that only companies themselves can resolve. While larger companies rely primarily on external training and on-the-job training, smaller companies are often poorly positioned. But digital skills can be learned - in every company. Our new Channel on the topic of "Digital Skills" shows which content is important for employees and managers to develop and expand digital skills.

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