Simplilearn has launched a digital transformation academy for enterprises...
In the last few years, CIOs have been chanting the ‘digital transformation’ catchphrase as if it is a common cure for all enterprise IT worries. However, a lot of organizations have embarked on standalone digital initiatives and are slowly evolving their digital readiness. However, a frequent issue that companies face is the lack of available talent to lead these innovations. As a result, a lot of companies are looking at hiring outside skills for the duration of the initiative. Some are also working with startups or external vendors. What about enterprises/CIOs that are planning to upskill their existing workforce on digital skills?
A quick Google search displays several courses offered by premiere institutions such as Indian School of Business (ISB), and online courses by platforms, such as Udemy, Coursera, edX among others. Simplilearn, a professional online certification provider, recently launched Digital Transformation Academy – a complete suite of courses tailored for enterprise needs.
We spoke to Anand Narayanan, Chief Product Officer at Simplilearn, to find out how the Academy aims to bridge the digital skill gap.
Digital Transformation is a very broad concept. How do you define it at Simplilearn?
We believe that, to successfully drive Digital Transformation, any organization needs to pay attention to three foundational aspects: People, Process, and Technology. The people aspect includes the process of transforming the mindset of an organization and creating an innovation driven culture from the grounds up. Process involves the ability to be “agile” and always follow “devops” principles. And finally technology allows an organization to change the way business is performed. Digital transformation isn’t just about technology but is also about the people that drive it and the processes that foster innovations.
Can you talk about the skill gap issue in enterprise IT?
Digital transformation is already disrupting traditional technologies, replacing them with digital domains, such as AI & Machine Learning, Analytics, Cloud, and Robotic Process Automation. It is also clear that these skills are not easily acquired due to their rapid evolution.
As an example, industry estimates show that there is a need for X Machine learning engineers, with the number of filled positions only Y. To remain competitive and efficient, organizations have tried hiring for these skills, but the talent pool remains small. This leads to a skill gap that can only be overcome with a strong upskilling program.
We conducted a survey of IT Managers recently and found that only less than half of them have completed any kind of certification in the last two years. Every three out of four of the respondents said they have done some kind of certification in the last five years. Why do you think CIOs/IT managers will be interested in taking up what you have to offer?
Enterprises, more than ever, are measuring the ROI of their employees and realizing that they are falling behind on key skills in the digital domain. Online learning does not drive user engagement and the completion rates are abysmal as a result. The Simplilearn learning approach drives user engagement and skill achievement through a high-engagement, outcome centric model. Online self learning content, skills assessments, live classes with industry grade faculty, teaching assistants to intervene when required and hands on projects, have helped us to deliver an industry high 72% completion rate on our curriculum. Being able to achieve the learning outcomes and truly transform their organization is what makes our offer exciting to these CIOs/IT managers.
Another survey finding that we encountered was that 28% of IT Managers said they would go for learning new technologies; however, leadership skills still topped the choice list. Clearly leadership skills are a CIO's top priority and they would rather spend dollars on hiring temporary skills. Then why would CIOs reskill at all or do you feel differently about this?
In recent focus groups and discussions that Simplilearn has had with CIOs and L&D heads, it was clear that while the target group thought that leadership skills were important, a majority of their budgets were going towards technology training. IT Managers and CIOs are realizing that there is a significant technology shift happening in the industry with the mainstream use of digital technologies and this is clear from the way their training budgets are being allocated.
While there has been intermittent use of a transient workforce, this approach has not delivered a culturally aligned outcome for these corporations. This transient workforce solves for the technology aspect, but it fails to deliver on the people and process aspects due to poor alignment of outcomes. It has become an imperative for corporations to upskill their employees or risk being left behind as a result.
What's the vision and mission of the Simplilearn Digital Transformation Academy for enterprises?
The Simplilearn Digital Transformation Academy is our flagship initiative to enable enterprises become digital ready. We are partnering with organizations to equip them with the skills needed to survive the digital era. The Academy has a suite of training programs that help organizations become competent in digital technologies. The program covers all knowledge aspects of the people, processes and technology framework and allows any organization to quickly move up the digital transformation capability ladder.
What is the broad breakup of the course module?
The Simplilearn Digital Transformation Academy covers varied topics across the people, process and technology aspects. On the people side, the academy provides training around design thinking, and UX principles which can lead to a more innovative, customer centric approach within an organization.
On the process side, the academy covers core topics such as Agile and DevOps which allow an organization to run lean and fast. And on the technology side core digital disciplines are covered such as AI and machine learning, robotic process automation, big data, data analytics, digital marketing, and cloud computing.
Our outcome centric curriculum is a blend of online self-learning and live instructor led classroom, allowing the learner to learn from anywhere. The courses are designed for three levels of training - Practitioner, Consultant, and CXO, and are based on the depth of knowledge and digital expertise required for various roles. Additionally the academy provides the capability to customize the curriculum for specific verticals.