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Data is the new currency, talent is the new investment

Data is the new currency
Data is the new currency

Digitization is widely seen to be the next wave of economic and social advancement. Data and information now generates more economic value than the traditional global goods trade. In a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) [1] study of more than 70 companies across sectors like consumer, financial services, retail, travel, media, technology and automotive, it was observed that most organizations have fundamentally changed and leaders must up their game to stay competitive. It was revealed that marketing leaders will need to have in place new and different capabilities and structures – including big data for consumer understanding and talent in areas like marketing effectiveness analytics – to be agile and effective in this new business environment.

Trends like Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, social media and mobile web services are drastically transforming the business landscape and reshaping boundaries. Most importantly, digitization has actually levelled the playing field in certain aspects by allowing smaller firms to compete with larger multinationals on the global stage. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005.[2]

It is also projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. Nowadays, virtually almost all types of cross-border transactions have a digital component to it.

Projecting new work roles

In fact, the trend has led Gartner to predict that at least 90 percent of the world’s organizations will have a Chief Data Officer role by the end of 2019[3]. BCG has reiterated this with the concept of a ‘data story teller’ – someone who can address data based insights effectively in the form of stories and narratives that will reverberate with the target audience both inside and outside the organization.

Generally, larger organizations that are keen to fully realize the potential of data will want to have in place a Chief Data Officer. This person will likely be handling the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from the collection and harnessing data, and to fully leverage the available data in line with business and corporate objectives.

Some industry experts also foresee a role of Chief Analytics Officer being formed within organizations. The Chief Analytics Officer will be responsible for capturing and tracking the analytic models that are developed and deployed throughout the organization. He or she will probably also need to be in charge of protecting the organization’s analytical assets.

Besides these, as organizations work with more data and increasing rely on it for operations and processes, the roles of data workers will be more defined and streamlined. Just like how data analysts and data scientists might not have existed 20 years ago, we will see more data-related roles being created.

Data talent crunch

It is obvious that we need to have the right data talents in place to keep up with this dynamic and ever-evolving environment. However, the fact is, industries are currently facing a data professional talent crunch across the globe.

In a recent BCG study, 35 percent of the company studied reported that a lack of qualified analysts and data experts hindered their efforts.  One respondent in the study commented: “We don’t have enough staff for breakthrough and new capability work…only the basic running of the day to day”.1

Closer to home, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) in Singapore has projected that the country will face a shortage of nearly 30,000 information technology professionals by 2017, particularly in the fields of cybersecurity, data analytics and applications development[4].

In Malaysia, the National ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Association (PIKOM) has said that the number of IT graduates produced each year, which numbers about 30,000, is not enough to cater to the growth of the industry[5]. The Association also believes that the current workforce requires upgrading and upscaling.

Talent creation

It is obvious – organizations need to keep up as they now require talent devoted to keeping their fingers on the pulse of innovation and trends across the channels. To be successful, they will frequently have to look within as well as outside their own organization to close these skills gaps and work with their clients, distributors and suppliers to hone the capabilities of the entire ecosystem.

For example, Nestlé rotates a dozen digital acceleration team members to work for eight months at a time in a state-of-the-art consumer engagement center at the company’s global headquarters. Team members manage social communities for global brands, address fast turnaround projects focused on digital and social media, and learn through intensive training programs.1

Their work area features a multi-media content creation studio and is surrounded by large screens streaming real time data showing how customers react to data online. Team members return to their local markets as digital leaders equipped to train and inspire others. Efforts such as this show how the world’s best organizations are staying on top of new technology trends and upskilling their workers with the adequate skills they need to keep up in today’s digitized workplace and industry.1

On the industry level, more such efforts are required to allow us propel to the next phase of development. Policy makers, public sector organizations, academic institutions and private sector players will need to come together to create an environment where technology and data talent can flourish and thrive. To build the data workforce of the future, we will need an ecosystem where all parties come together and strategically identify, plan for and fill data skills gap. With the growth of talent being so valuable, it has now become a worthy investment area for countries, companies and industries across the globe.

[1] The agile marketing organization, The Boston Consulting Group, October 2015

[2] Digital Globalization: The new era of global flows, McKinsey Global Institute, February 2016

[3] Predicts 2016: Information Strategy, Gartner, 9 December 2015

[4] IT talent in short supply amid Smart Nation push, iDA, 8 February 2016

[5] People problems: The sector faces a growing shortage of human resources, Oxford Business Group

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com