Nurturing Data Skills to support Europe’s Digital Transformation
Enterprises and organizations alike are increasingly leveraging digital technologies to produce new business models, products and services that seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds, while improving operational efficiencies and organizational performance – welcome to the era of the Digital Transformation! According to IDC, 65% of large enterprises worldwide will have committed to becoming information based companies in 2016, shifting the focus from resources, labor, and fixed capital to relationships, people, and intangible capital. Understandably, new digital skills are required to reap the benefits of such shift but most of the EU companies and organizations do experience a skills mismatch issue: European employers are struggling recruiting people with the skills needed, unemployment remains at high levels, and over 25% of young adult employees are overqualified for their jobs. This bleak picture is confirmed by the results of the European Data Market tool: its Data Skills Gap indicator projects a potential supply-demand gap of approximately half a million data workers’ jobs in the EU by 2020 under the baseline scenario. As a result, only 64% of European firms expect their digital transformation objectives for 2016 to be fully reached and many companies are bound to consider new and more compelling initiatives to upskill, re-skill, or simply acquire newly hired employees with the necessary skills. In this paper we explore four case studies of European industries engaged in digital transformation in order to investigate how they deal with their needs of new digital skills, of training and upskilling their workforce and of specifically sourcing data skills. Four very diverse case studies are:
- EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG – a municipal association of regional and local authorities – are the majority shareholders in the company; consequently, the company has special links to Baden-Württemberg. Its primary goal is to provide a reliable supply of energy to the home market and to act as a partner in supporting the efforts of citizens, local authorities and companies to develop a decentralised and autonomous energy supply.
- Calidad Pascual is a family-owned, Spain-based company originally focusing on dairy products. The company now produces and distributes a broad portfolio of food & beverage products.
- Established in the second half of the nineteenth century, Agfa started as a manufacturer of dyes and stains and grew in the photography industry. Agfa-Gevaert Group currently develops, produces and distributes a range of analog and digital imaging systems and IT solutions, mainly for the printing industry and the healthcare sector, images for healthcare as well as for specific industrial applications including micrography and motion pictures.
- Estra is public company owned by a partnership of 97 townships in Tuscany and based in Florence; it is a multi-utility company in the energy industry providing supply services of gas delivery, electricity, telecommunication services addressed to households and enterprises.