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AND Digital's Stephen Paterson talks about the digital skills gap for London Tech Week

The digital skills gap is one of the most urgent issue facing organisations in the UK and around the world. It’s something we talk about a lot, so we were delighted to be able to discuss the issue for London Tech Week.

In an interview, Chief of Consulting Stephen Paterson said that organisations that fail to properly tackle the digital skills gap will be at a huge disadvantage in the years to come.

"The largest disadvantage is about how they really serve… their customers better through digital channels,” he said. “If you can’t do that and you can’t do that quickly, organisations will lose out.”

 

 

Equipping companies with digital skills and expertise

Paterson explained AND Digital’s approach to supporting businesses: guide, build, and equip. He noted that it’s equip that really sets the company apart from other technology consultancies - and it’s here that the company is doing the most work to close the wider digital skills gap. “It's about equipping organisations with the skills, with the knowledge, with the know-how… to be able to do all of this themselves.”

“Who better to own digital, to know their customer, to know their business, to know how to really grow successfully than the organisations themselves?”

Paterson highlights that AND leads by example. “When we bring people into and digital… we start with what we refer to as a bootcamp - and that is all about how do we help them be better delivery consultants working with businesses that really can build better digital.”

This is then a model that AND uses to support the organisations it supports. “We do the same thing for our clients… so when they’re looking to onboard new people into their teams we help them with that onboarding approach.”

How can companies start tackling their skills gaps?

What should organisations be doing to bridge their skills gap? How can they begin?

“The most successful,” Paterson says, "start with that digital strategy piece.” They’re typically those that have put the time and effort into asking “what is the proposition they’re going to offer for their customers, for their consumers, for their market, that sets them aside and distinguishes them from their competition.”

It also requires a more holistic approach to skills. Rather than thinking in terms of specific capabilities within a given team or function, skills need to be considered as a whole. It’s not just a checklist - it’s a completely new way of thinking about how you operate and how you serve your end users.

“Those organisations that recognise that need to upskill in digital and close that digital skills gap by not just thinking about their team or the part of their business in which they operate but that broader digital skills gap are likely to be the ones that are more successful.”

Talk to us about tackling your digital skills gaps. Get in touch.