UAE organisations are experiencing increased demand for individuals with deep technology skills, according to a new research by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The research commissioned by Microsoft titled ‘Future of Work Skills’ and covers findings from key markets across the Middle East and Africa to examine insights, trends and challenges that the region is facing amidst its digital transformation journey.
The report finds that over 90% of organization in the UAE are in the process of implementing their digital transformation initiatives. However there remains a gap in the depth of digital experience and skills needed to support these ambitious journeys. This is especially in the case of specific business functions such as marketing, sales and human resources. As it stands, 66% of businesses in the UAE expect to see an increase in positions that require deep technology skills over the next two to three years.
Recognising the cloud as a foundational technology needed to drive digital transformation, almost 73% of UAE-based organisations are already using some form of cloud-based solution. However, more than half of surveyed companies still lack the cloud computing skills they need, while 67% agree they will need even more advanced skills in coming years. UAE organizations are also aware that digital skills are not the only capabilities needed to help them compete in the digital age. This is evidenced by the fact that 41% of companies indicate they are lacking necessary networking skills and 53% believe they will need more of those skills in the future.
A key strategy is to retain and upskill existing staff, with 77% of companies saying they find this an effective approach to acquiring the digital skillsets they require. In fact, with the goal of developing a future-ready workforce, almost 70% of companies have reskilling programmes in place, many of which are now available for people to attend remotely.
To address the skills gap, Microsoft has set up a virtual training ecosystem designed to benefit, not only students and young professionals, but also employees specialising in certain skills that may soon be less needed or even obsolete. Initiatives like the Microsoft Cloud Society, till date, has over 256,000 members across the Middle East and Africa, and platforms such as the AI Business School are empowering individuals to remotely upskill in areas around AI, Cloud, Data and Security.