People Innovation Europe
CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition 2014
Wellington School
MF Mobility

Executives confident in their own, but not their companies’ digital abilities

New research from executive and interim recruitment specialist Executives Online shows that a large majority (83 per cent) of senior executives feel personally able to keep up with digital advancements in their industries.

Matthew (WMF) via Wikimedia Commons

However, more than two thirds (69 per cent) believe their employers are not investing enough to ensure that their companies do too.

Andrew Nicholas, Director at Executives Online, said, “It is interesting to see that while senior employees are confident in their own abilities, they are not confident that their employers are doing enough to address digital skills shortages across their businesses.”

The research found that executives in the telecommunications, IT and technology; business and professional services; and retail, FMCG and food and drinks sectors are most likely to be confident about their own digital skills (92 per cent, 83 per cent and 83 per cent respectively).

Conversely, those in finance, financial services and banking are the least confident in their own skills (77 per cent) and least likely to think that their companies are investing sufficiently in keeping up with advancements in digital technology (73 per cent).

The large majority of respondents (80 per cent) feel that digital innovation has changed the way that their company does business, but only a third of all companies (31 per cent) believe that skills shortages have been caused as a result. Nicholas continued, “Our research shows that digital innovation has had the most significant impact on business operations in the finance, financial services and banking sector (92 per cent) and the telecoms, IT and technology sector (88 per cent). 

“However, with fast-paced changes in multi-channel customer engagement and the need for traceability, it’s surprising to find that nearly a third of senior executives working in the retail, FMCG and food and drink sectors believe digital technology has not changed the way they do business.

“Our research also revealed that companies are extending their employee training and recruiting digital specialists to a similar degree to keep up with digital advancements in their industries.  The investment in both training and recruitment is highest in the telecoms, IT and technology sector (48 per cent and 38 per cent respectively) and lowest overall in the industrial, manufacturing and construction industries (33 per cent and 22 per cent respectively).