I recently spoke with members of the CCC Digital Expert Panel. The focus of the discussion was to look the impact of Covid19 on 1) the training and education sector and 2) businesses in general.

As usual, our expert panel has provided a good and varied view of todays situation, drawing on their different backgrounds, experiences and customer base.

The following is a brief synopsis of some of the areas discussed on the recent CCC Digital Hub think-tank with the CCC Digital Expert Panel.

The working dynamic has changed. This is no longer the new-normal. THIS IS THE NORMAL! It may be hard to believe but it is our current reality. There are many reports of businesses waiting for things to go back to the ‘old-normal’ so they can go back to how they did things pre-Covid19. These businesses seem to be in a form of denial of the current situation.

How do you see the current situation? Is your organisation in denial?

In the history of previous global change and transformation people didn’t go back to what was in place beforehand; we evolved. For example, modern societies use the car to travel around having abandoned the horse as a mode of transport. Industrialisation moved the world forward (although some might argue).

Is your business looking forward, not backwards? Are you moving with the time, and not against the tides of change?

Digital transformation is challenging. The technology can be new and many organisations don’t actually know what digital transformation actually is. Far to often organisations spend the majority of their money on the technical side of digital transformation. It is common that the people side of the equation is neglected and under-funded. Yet it is people that are needed to get the results from investments in digital technologies.

Does your organisation really know what digital transformation is? Even if you did, how do you validate what you know?

The boundary between training and consulting is blurring. Covid19 has affected the training and education industry immensely. The impact is likely to remain for some time especially affecting classroom-based learning experiences, colleges and universities. There is certainly an opportunity to blend training and consultancy into a hybrid offering with different options. Thus transforming their business model for these challenging times.

If you are a training provider, how are you adapting? Can you add consulting, or adapt current consulting offerings, to be more relevant for your customers?

The rise of the Office Hotel. Will it be the case that we will only go into the office to conduct or attend meetings or group sessions? Will the traditional office space transform in an office hotel? Our panel thinks this is very possible. What do the real-estate folk and CFOs think?

Could this happen in your organisation? Why not?

Is there a skills gap, or a lack of people who have the required skills? Is this the same thing, or not? Interesting view put forward by the panel. In the CCC Global Digital Skills Survey, a critical finding reported that ‘organisations require staff to have the ability to acquire skills quickly as opposed to having skills’.

The panel also pointed out that there will always be some form of a skills gap, at least in the technology sector. This translates into a skills gap affecting all businesses who rely on technology. Especially those who plan to use the latest technologies available.

For example when cloud was being adopted there was a significant skills gap, which some would say remains today. A way to address any skills gap, according to the panel, is to have a foundation of base skills and knowledge embedded throughout the organisation and build on that where needed.

What is the digital skills gap in your organisation? Do you know? Have you a base foundation of digital skill identified and embedded in your organisation?

I hope the content and views expressed are of interest and helpful during these ‘different but now normal’ times.

Mark O’Loughlin

CEO       Red Circle Strategies

PS If you would like further reading, additional views are detailed here

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