‘Bridging’ the Digital Divide

‘Bridging’ the Digital Divide

Rapidly increased adoption of digital platforms has taken the world of business by storm.

In Scotland alone, ‘digital’ contributed £10.3bn to the economy last year, well above the national average.

CBI Director-General, John Cridland noted: “Both the public and private sectors have much to gain from harnessing the benefits of digital technology.

The UK is the tech capital of Europe, but digital advances never stop. If we want to stay ahead we need more young people studying computing to a higher level.

In the past 5 years, a clear digital transformation has taken place, and the need to operate via online platforms to satisfy the public’s appetite for social media and mobile engagement is apparent.

Over the next two years, 101,000 new digital jobs are predicted, benefitting the Scottish economy by £10.7bn a year if it achieves full potential.

But therein lies a challenge!

There is a technology skills shortage, and it is getting worse: 59% of organisations are facing a skills shortage, and 6 out of 10 CIOs believe that skills shortages will prevent their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change.

Last month, John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, said he had been inundated with complaints from businesses about the availability of digital skills in Scotland.

During a debate at Holyrood in Edinburgh, Swinney said that improving digital skills are central to improving Scotland’s productivity and that the government is committed to making Scotland a “world class digital economy by 2020”.

There is a clear opportunity for businesses to use digital as a vehicle to engage and sell, but bridging the skills divide will define how deeply this well of opportunity can be tapped.

Digital solutions are enabling businesses to manage processes more efficiently, with more functionality, and greater connectivity; for example: hosted Customer Relationships Management (CRM) technologies are providing deeper information analysis and insight, allowing businesses to deliver more personal engagements than ever before.

The severity of the skills gap though is further highlighted in a recent report that indicates a significant lack of digital skills across the adult population, with over 16 million people in the UK lacking ‘basic’ digital skills, let alone the ability to leverage online platforms such as CRM and SharePoint.

Organisations unable to bridge this skill gap are in real danger of being left behind. Customer relationship management solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, will provide limited value without the right skills to implement and manage it. But there is a bridging solution: outsourcing.

On-boarding a reputable IT service provider will negate the challenges of finding the right individuals, with the right skills.

If you can find a local Scottish provider even better – location is often a key factor in getting optimal service and support.

As an established Glasgow based Microsoft Dynamics CRM provider, Bridgeall has comprehensive experience of lending our digital skills to businesses across Scotland and in helping them grow using digital solutions.

Looking to bridge a digital skill gap? Contact the Glasgow and Edinburgh team on 0141 212 6400 or contactus@bridgeall.com.