What is digital transformation? It means different things to different businesses.

What was once the long-view dream accelerated overnight like a shot to become a fire-fighting exercise for businesses to survive the pandemic. Ask most organizations now and they will likely say that digital transformation has become a permanent part of their business fabric, embracing it as part of their near-term and long-term strategy, initiatives, and plans.

These are the top 5 strategic technologies connected to the organization’s digital transformation initiatives:(1)

  • Cybersecurity (47%)
  • Cloud Computing (45%)
  • Artificial Intelligence (43%)
  • Data Analytics (33%)
  • Automation (26%)

Another view from this same study shows that the top three areas of investment for a digital transformation program are led by cloud computing (85%) and followed by AI and machine learning (80%), and cybersecurity (71%). (2)

Businesses aren’t the only ones recognizing both the value and the risks involved with digital transformation programs; government entities are also taking notice. For example, the EU has allotted 20% of its EUR 724bn Recovery and Resilience Facility funds for digital-related investments. Some of the areas covered under this scheme include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and advancing digital skills. (3)

The human element and the value they bring to the equation are also critical. Investments in skills and leadership must be commensurate with those made in technology and process improvement.

“Companies are focused on experienced leadership rather than entry-level positions in many areas, such as technology, product management, underwriting, analytics, and sales and marketing. Senior roles are in high demand, and employers continue to offer robust pay increases and benefits to stay competitive.”(4)

Of all the roles, digital roles remain most in demand: IT, technology, telecoms, communications, and media (+50%), followed by banking, finance, insurance, and real estate (+43%). (5)

This has become a real challenge, with some of the critical issues organizations face when it comes to hiring for skills and leadership as follows: (6)

  • 86% of HR leaders are kept up at night by talent shortages
  • 83% of organizations indicate that increasing turnover is a top concern
  • 78% of organizations indicate that employees leave their jobs due to better pay elsewhere
  • 76% of organizations indicate that they are losing key skills, including digital technology leadership, management, and skills to remain agile and adaptable

And this isn’t just a challenge; organizations see it as a significant risk to not only their digital transformation programs but to the overall health of their business.(7) By 2030, Korn

Ferry estimates that the global talent shortage could reach more than 85 million people (8), up from 40 million in December of 2020. (9)

This reality has earned the lack of a skilled workforce a new spot as number 9 on the top 10 list of risks that organizations will be dealing with for the next 12 months – perhaps even longer. (10)


1, 2  – “2021/2022 Digital Transformation & Cloud Survey: A Wave of Change,” Baker McKenzie, December 2021

3 – “European Commission, Directorate-General for Budget, The EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget & NextGenerationEU : facts and figures,” The Publications Office of the European Union, 2021

4, 6  – “U.S. Property-Casualty Insurance Trends and Outlook for 2022,” AON, January 2022

5 – “Q1 2022 Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey,” Manpower Group, Q1 2022

7, 10 – “Allianz Risk Barometer 2022,” Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, January 2022

8 – “The $8.5 Trillion Talent Shortage,” Korn Ferry, 2018

9 – “The Software Developer Shortage in the US and the Global Tech Talent Shortage in 2022,” Daxx, January 2022