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A skills and data gap opportunity as worker literacy drops

Two bits of data for our day today.

First, in a survey by Pega of top execs, 62 percent of respondents have identified data management as the essential competency their organization needs to master today.  That beat out coding at 39 percent.   And in the data — 40 percent of respondents said IT management as a competency will either disappear or become less relevant as more tasks are automated or outsourced.

And skills one – and it’s not good.   Quoting Nextgov:

The U.S. workforce is becoming less digitally savvy compared to those of other nations, with American employees broadly lagging in skills like basic computer literacy and using messaging tools like email––critical knowledge in the modern global digital economy. 

According to data compiled within a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, roughly 31 percent of employees in the U.S. workforce have either no or limited digital skills.

Based on 2021 data, the U.S. ranked 29th in terms of students engaging in operating systems, cloud computing, and mathematics courses out of 100 countries. 

Why do we care?

Risk and opportunities.   Let’s start with the risk – IT management could be automated away for many, and probably should for many SMB.    That requires less “service,” although fair to observe; it needs a highly competent provider to do it.  The risk there for the tiny providers is that a larger one can be very competitive at scale with more being automated away.  

It’s that data management priority that intrigues me.    Helping organizations with their data is a theme in my coverage, and not nearly enough providers are working on this.   Now, couple that with the US workforce losing ground on the basics of tech.     Work is getting more complex and more data-driven – and there is an opportunity to be highly skilled at that management and make it accessible to the workforce.. which may be increasingly less savvy.