Study: More than Half of Companies Lack AI Innovation Skills

According to a study by SoftwareOne, there is a great need to bridge the human-machine divide
Research by SoftwareOne reveals a stark human skills gap in maximising AI and cloud potential, as 97% of companies prioritise upskilling workforces

There is a vital human skills gap that needs addressing, as companies seek to make full use of AI and cloud technologies.

According to a study by SoftwareOne, a leading global software and cloud solutions company, there is a great need to bridge the human-machine divide. The company highlights that 97% of companies are prioritising upskilling their workforce

As AI continues to disrupt businesses and services around the world, companies are scrambling to get their hands on the latest models to better serve their customers. However, a burgeoning skills gap exists to threaten business operations and could risk organisations falling behind in the global AI race.

Matching employee skills to innovation

Organisations are at a critical point as they consider how to remain competitive when it comes to AI.

Currently, the biggest pain point for companies in their digital transformation efforts is ensuring employee skills growth matches the rapid rate of innovation. According to SoftwareOne, more than half (53%) of the companies surveyed currently lack the AI skills required to leverage rapid innovation. 

Likewise 50% of organisations report they are currently struggling to find AI-skilled employees.

SoftwareOne’s research underscores a pressing reality - that prioritising close collaboration between human workers and advanced technologies is vital amidst a widening cloud skills gap and apprehension around AI. This relationship is set to redefine dynamics within a business, with 97% of organisations already planning to prioritise upskilling their workforce.

Currently there is a significant cloud skills shortage. According to the report, this gap has increased individual workloads of 62% of respondents and led to repercussions for businesses as a result, including staff burnout and high turnover rates within specific departments. 

Notably, the report cites more than a quarter of global IT managers (27%) are contemplating quitting their jobs as a direct consequence of growing skills gaps. In connection with this, 84% of companies perceive IT retention issues as a significant challenge, caused in part by inner team conflicts.

Other issues include:
  • 26% of respondents cite increased tension between themselves and their boss
  • 46% say skills gaps have caused tension within their team
  • 18% say they don’t feel comfortable asking for additional training to advance their skills

“Rapid advancements in AI and generative AI (Gen AI) offer exciting prospects for companies worldwide, but organisations are sitting on a ticking talent time bomb if they don’t upskill and retrain their workforces now to fulfil the potential of AI,” comments Brian Duffy, CEO at SoftwareOne. 

“Our research shows the overwhelming majority of organisations are planning to upskill their IT teams in order to fast-track AI adoption and accelerate the cloud journey. By putting people at the centre and showcasing how these innovations can enhance their roles rather than pose threats, organisations can cultivate a culture of empowerment and optimism that helps to increase retention, boost productivity and make work more meaningful.” 

The technology skills gap continues to be felt worldwide. Big tech organisations such as Google have already invested €25m (US$26.9m) to develop AI skills in Europe, as it continues to pursue the technology.

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