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  • Alex Hattaway

Lack of Skills, Talent is Hindering Healthcare's Digital Transformation

Short supply and high demand for tech-savvy talents are particularly pressing concerns for smaller enterprises.

A successful digital transformation often requires thorough planning, adequate funding, talents, and organizational adaptability. But the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst that forced many healthcare companies to accelerate their digital transformation efforts without proper planning in place, according to GlobalData. This fast-tracked digital transformation created an ongoing need for skilled people to drive those digitalization efforts, the company claims.

A GlobalData survey* found that 41% of healthcare industry professionals viewed lack of specific skills and talents as a significant hindrance in implementing emerging technologies, followed by insufficient funding (38%), and regulation and compliance challenges (29%).

GlobalData’s report, "Digital Transformation and Emerging Technology in the Healthcare Industry - 2022," notes that technology skills are in huge demand in the workplace. COVID-19 forced many businesses to close their physical premises and move operations online, uncovering a crucial need for employees with digital skills. The ongoing shortage of job-ready, tech savvy talents can make it difficult for companies to adopt new technologies and can cause delays in digital transformation programs.

While lack of specific skills and talents and insufficient funding remain the top two hindrances for digital transformation since 2020, the same survey also found that hinderances such as organization silos, legacy systems, IT and business misalignment, competing priorities of senior executives, risk-averse culture, and conflicting corporate strategies were less frequent.

“The industry is quickly evolving to keep up with digital transformation, and the survey data suggests that the companies have fewer digital transformation obstacles to overcome as compared to previous years," said Urte Jakimaviciute, senior director of Market Research at GlobalData. "Nevertheless, while COVID-19 has scaled up innovation initiatives and digitalization uptake, many companies do not have enough financial and human resources to cope with the pace of digitalization.”

Short supply and high demand for tech-savvy talents was a particularly pressing concern for smaller enterprises. Unlike larger-scale organizations, small companies may have more limited channels to secure funding and attract talent to keep up with digitalization efforts.

“A shortage of tech-savvy employees coupled with inflationary pressures may derail the digital transformation boom. A lack of skilled employees is not confined to the healthcare industry and, therefore, will take time to resolve. Upskilling and reskilling current employees may be one of the solutions to fill the gaps in the workforce,” Jakimaviciute added.

* Data taken from GlobalData’s Digital Transformation and Emerging Technology in the Healthcare Industry 2022 survey fielded with n = 114 healthcare industry professionals between Sept. 14-Oct. 10, 2022.

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