Companies win and lose based, in great part, on the talent of their people. That’s also where the challenge begins. The rapid movement to all things digital has created real and dangerous gaps in talent; those gaps are exacerbated by political, geographic, generational, and design issues including:
- The strengthening of the nation-state (e.g., Brexit) that erodes the value of a global labor pool — and in some cases, pits reshoring local tech against established and scaled offshoring operations.
- The reality that technical roles are sought after by firms across industries — and notably by high-tech firms and start-ups — can disadvantage firms early in their digital revolution.
- The location preferences of tech talent that create urban talent hot spots (Dublin, San Francisco, Boston, etc.) and places severe pressure on firms that are not located in those areas.
- Design requirements are compelling design, content, architectural, and development talent to work together in tighter timeframes, complicating the old rules of outsourcing, which allowed for different functions to operate in different time zones.
These forces are conspiring, placing pressure on acquiring and retaining talent. It’s forcing leaders to think and act well outside the box: developing distinct innovation operations physically separate from the core business; opening offices in hot spot cities to directly compete for talent; and in similar fashion, creating an organic digital culture.