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Bridging the ever-growing digital skills gap with low-code

The UK’s labor market is still unable to resolve the current digital skills crisis, despite the fact that much has been written about businesses and how their reliance on digital skills is expected to increase over the next years. In addition to increasing demand for IT workers over the past two years due to the pandemic, digital transformation has made it difficult for non-IT professionals to use digital tools.


In order to put things in perspective, the UK government recently released a poll that found that UK businesses are having trouble filling an urgent digital skills shortage. According to the study, 14.1% of businesses in the DCMS (digital, cultural, media, and sports) sectors indicate a lack of workers with the necessary digital skills.


Even technological businesses are dealing with this problem, so it doesn’t end there. IET’s Skills and Demand in Industry Report 2021 states that around 71% of engineering companies in the UK think their company has an abilities gap because employees lack technical or engineering skills.


This highlights the necessity for workers to maintain their current digital skills, which, on average, are thought to keep you employable for around five years.
This doesn’t necessary include hiring fresh people while undervaluing the potential of current workers. Organizations should instead see this as an opportunity to give current employees access to training and development programs that will help them gradually enhance their employability skills.


Transforming businesses by adopting a digital mentality

Every company leader has a priority list, and the epidemic has probably pushed digital transformation to the top of that list. While it’s admirable to provide employees with the necessary tools to enable quicker and more intelligent work, too much focus is frequently placed on the digital aspect of the equation and not enough on the transformation aspect. Failures in digital transformation projects are rarely brought on by subpar technology or a lack of enthusiasm among employees. They typically fail because companies don’t spend money on educating their employees, leaving them with cutting-edge technology that they are unable to operate.


Even the most innovative technology is useless if its users lack the necessary skills. Employees that are trained to use cutting-edge products and services will feel more empowered and form new work habits. In certain instances, staff members may even find clever applications for these tools and develop a fresh, useful use case that will quicken work and enhance collaboration. If that isn’t what a “win-win” situation looks like, it should be!

An organization must make sure that a digital mentality is at the center of everything it does, whether it is aiming to digitally innovate by implementing new practices or improving its current business operations. Companies can train staff members with non-tech backgrounds to work with knowledgeable IT workers by adopting a digital attitude.


This involves training existing staff to use IT approved platforms such as low-code to develop business applications instead of turning to shadow IT.


Low-code software development platforms help businesses accelerate their digital transformation initiatives by enabling a larger workforce of citizen developers who do not have any tech background to collaborate with IT professionals and develop enterprise applications, thereby cutting the need for skilled IT staff for specific domain expertise. By adopting this approach towards software development, organisations are essentially empowering business users with tools and skills to create their own solutions.


This not only helps resolve the problem of not having enough software developer talent to fill in open positions but it can also bring about better collaboration between departments, which in turn improves the overall operational efficiency of the organisation.


Empowering the workforce with low-code

Armed with low-code tools, business users can now help organisations keep up with the growing demand for software application solutions as digital technologies continue to rapidly transform the business. This is mainly because low-code platforms allow organisations to digitise their processes and establish new ways to carry out day-to-day business operations at a much faster pace than traditional development.


It also allows business users to be more involved in the digital transformation projects. This is particularly important considering that there is a growing interest among modern employees to approach problems at work with data and a practical attitude in mind. Most employees now want to be involved in business operations that drive real business value, which in turn makes work more meaningful to them, and if they aren’t given this opportunity, they will go elsewhere.


With help of low-code platforms, businesses can now foster an environment that welcomes ideas from all employees, sending the powerful message that management is willing to partner with workers. Having the ability to build solutions via the application development platform also means that business users now have a bigger say on where or when digitisation can essentially help the business.


Low-code also allows IT teams to become more productive and efficient as it eliminates the need for them to be involved in smaller app development tasks. Functionality wise, users generally do not require extensive expertise in coding to run or create applications on these platforms as it mostly uses a visual interface which allows you to drag and drop components when building apps or solutions. This reduces the burden on IT departments, thereby allowing them to focus on more complex projects.


In conclusion, through citizen development, organisations can now undertake business transformation initiatives without adding additional pressure on their existing IT teams, which leads to higher employee satisfaction for both tech and non-tech teams. By providing access to low-code tools, companies can also empower their workers to build applications and software which are actually useful for their everyday jobs. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure talent retention in a world where being part of something big and meaningful at work is becoming more important than just compensation.


Leveraging tools such as low-code to reskill and upskill existing talent is both an opportunity for the companies to close the digital skills gap both in short and long term.



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INGENIOUS project belongs to the Erasmus+ program category, KA2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, and specifically to KA226: Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness.