With analysts predicting that as many as 90% of organizations will be deploying RPA by the end of 2022, the current software developer crisis may have a bigger impact on digital initiatives than expected. In fact, many organizations are already seeing this effect their digital transformation and innovation projects. In a recent Gartner survey, 63% of respondents indicated that a talent shortage was a key concern for their organization.
This shortage is now colliding with the increasing digital demands and rapidly changing needs. IT leaders should consider several factors when handling the ongoing developer talent challenges to successfully move forward with their intelligent automation initiatives.
The Impact on Skills Needed for Digital Transformation
Obtaining talent with skills needed to start or advance tech transformation has been a challenge for organizations even before the pandemic. But the talent shortage combined with COVID-19 has created more pressure on organizations to rethink skills needed for their digital initiatives as technology and business priorities change rapidly.
For example, data shows that tech industry leaders look for a digital skill set in sales representatives that includes digital transformation, security, tech infrastructure and more. But they are not considering the fact that digital skills are now a part of almost every role, not just developers and sales teams, but also among knowledge workers like those that work in finance. The survey showed that the inability to identify needed skills was the number one obstacle to workforce transformation; 31% reported that they have no way to identify market-leading skills.
Shifting to Low-Code/No-Code Technology
As the talent shortage continues, organizations must seek technology that gives them a competitive edge and embrace easier and quicker ways of achieving automation, which is what digital transformation has always been about. The emergence of low-code and no-code platforms has given rise to the new citizen developer, an employee who creates applications/solutions to solve business problems for themselves or others, using tools that are not actively forbidden by IT. Another Gartner survey showed that low-code/no-code tools will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity by 2024 for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives. With new urgency, businesses are now moving quickly to uncover and automate more complex, higher value processes. These important processes often touch customers and inevitably involve unstructured content flowing through them, which must be intelligently processed.
Turning to low-code and no-code platforms will make it easier for users who report to a business unit or function (the new citizen developer) to be empowered to solve complex process challenges related to handling unstructured content, by quickly training document AI models (cognitive skills) and deploying them to intelligent automation platforms. Technologies like RPA have been instrumental in the first phases of many organizations’ digital transformation journey and combining this with content intelligence can help understand, extract, and classify content without needing to be an expert. It allows knowledge workers and developers alike to work with low-code/no-code platforms and get insights from documents that will increase productivity and improve operational efficiency.
Leveraging low-code/no-code platforms and working towards automation will help you adapt quickly and meet rapid, continuous changes when it comes to technology.
Applying the Right Technology for the Biggest Impact
When you’re working to improve operating efficiency, customer journey, or other initiatives, there are many different technologies to consider for your portfolio. One of the biggest challenges that organizations face is how to get organized with how they will be moving forward with automation, what technologies to use, and how they will adapt.
Consider IDC’s Business Automation Maturity Model, for example, which provides five helpful steps for organizations to follow, most notably the emphasis on skilled automation about the analysts advise extending your automation efforts to AI and low code tools to create capabilities for business users to be able to use these technologies more often and become the ‘new’ citizen developer. This is where organizations can also focus on being proficient in aligning ROI success metrics for new projects with ongoing business value. Additionally, the model advocates a culture of automation where you have a fully operational program with reusable, resilient assets and digital skills, so your end-user developer program enables everyone to minimize time spent on redundant, manual work and maximize higher-value efforts.
For organizations to plan for these types of continuous changes in talent, skills, and workforce design, they must evolve from traditional, deep-rooted approaches to using a new generation of disruptive technology that will help them delegate knowledge workers towards innovative opportunities that will help the company adapt and be agile.