How To Easily Future-Proof Your Business With Digital Skills

Posted by Jenny Tong |   17th December 2018

How To Easily Future-Proof Your Business With Digital Skills

Not so long ago, the most a company needed in terms of digital skills was someone capable of keeping the computers running, and staff with a working knowledge of Microsoft’s Office Suite. These days it’s increasingly complicated to compete in the digital marketplace, and it’s vital to the growth and prosperity of your business that you stay ahead of the digital curve.

That means keeping your current staff up to speed on all the latest digital skill sets, and investing in the development of new hires. One great way to do this is to offer a digital apprenticeship and train a new member of staff to be the dedicated digital hub of your business. Another option is to upskill your existing team by teaching them new skills and ensuring they are regularly developing their abilities.

But exactly how are digital skills so vital to the modern workplace, and why should you be investing in staff that are fully capable of driving your business forward into the digital revolution? Here are a few key points to consider...

Government Support for the Development of Digital Skills...

In recent years the government has increased their focus on digital skills, devoting more resources to encouraging companies to expand the skillsets of their workforce. The good news is that, whether you choose to hire an apprentice or upskill your existing team, funding is available to help you future-proof your business and raise the level of digital skills in your workforce. The apprenticeship levy scheme exists precisely for this reason, and whether you’re a levy-paying or non-levy paying business, we can help you find the best way to cover the costs of gaining new digital skills.

Business Basics and Multi-Device Capabilities...

There are certain basic elements to business that rely on data literacy every day. We often dismiss them as inconsequential, but effective use of email and applications, printers, scanners, and even cameras are frequently a daily necessity in the modern office. When members of your team are unable to effectively complete basic business skills such as these, it slows everything down.

In the modern workplace, employees need to be capable of using a lot more than the standard desktop PC or laptop. New innovations are seeing smartphones, tablets, and other devices being integrated into the everyday workflows your team will deal with. Whether they’re on a mobile device or utilising the latest creation to come out of the rise of the Internet of Things, being comfortable using multiple digital devices is essential.

More and more of the devices we use in the workplace are digital - your staff need to keep updating their skills as rapidly as innovation is revolutionising the manner in which we work.

Digital is the New Language...

Experts are rapidly adopting the view that digital skills, or ‘digital literacy’ is a whole new language that is as essential to learn as English or maths. In 2015, digital skills were described by the House of Lords as a core subject that should be taught in schools along with literacy and numeracy. The more a person learns new digital skills, the more fluent they become in this new language, which is spoken in all modern workplaces, and is essential to understand if you want to become and remain a valuable employee.
Digital literacy is the new normal for Millennials and Generation Z, who have been raised on digital technologies and an ever-changing digital landscape. As such, a new apprentice on a digital programme will take to learning these skills extremely easily as it’s a ‘language’ they’re already familiar with.

However, your existing team - who may belong to older generations or have grown up without access to all the latest technology - may struggle to teach themselves the digital skills they realistically need to keep up with the modern business world.

Social Media & Content Marketing...

One prime example of the importance of digital literacy in the modern workplace is the rapid rise of social media, which along with content marketing has swiftly become the front runner when it comes to business promotion.

Even for employees working in other departments beyond marketing, a working knowledge of social media and digital content creation is often required so they can support the company’s efforts. This is particularly important in smaller organisations that don’t have huge marketing teams and massive budgets, and instead rely on everyone pitching in a little to help spread the word about their products and services, and raise their business profile in a positive manner.

Having a Digital Marketer on staff who is trained as a Certified Internet Webmaster for internet business, site development, and data analysis, is a huge business benefit and easily achievable through our Digital Marketer apprenticeship.

The Changing Customer Journey...

One huge factor influencing the rise of digital skills is the changing nature of the customer journey. Traditionally, buyers were exposed to advertising messages via print media, radio, and television ads, basing their buying decisions on the information they saw in these ads, and recommendations from friends or family. The internet changed everything, giving consumers the power to search out information independently, allowing them to find solutions to their problems and compare various options before making a far more informed decision.

As a result of this shift, there is now a huge emphasis on the ability of a company to market themselves online, provide the information people are looking for, attract those searchers, and prove themselves to be a cut above the rest so they beat out the competition in those comparisons.

There’s a very real need for a very different type of marketing.

So, it’s not only important to have a working knowledge of social media and content marketing, it’s also vital to know how to effectively optimise all of that content for search using SEO and website design and development, to ensure you’re effectively catering to and convincing this new breed of consumers.

Utilising Cloud-Based Software...

Just as technology and innovation have revolutionised the devices we’re using in our day-to-day work, so too has it completely changed the manner in which we store our data. Many if not most businesses have now made the switch from hard data storage to cloud-based alternatives. 

A report by the RightScale in 2017 indicated that 85 per cent of companies were already using a multi-cloud strategy, and that number has only grown since. While cloud-based services generally strive to minimise the differences between their original offline versions and their new online versions, there are still huge differences in functionality and minor differences in layout and design that can make it tricky for employees to make the switch to the cloud.

Like other digital skills, becoming cloud-fluent is an essential prerequisite of effectively working in the modern workplace. Having a Network Engineer who is responsible for installing, maintaining, and supporting effective communication across your organisation and with other companies is vital for a business that runs smoothly. It’s also something that’s easily achievable with our Network Engineering Apprenticeship.

The Benefits of Basic Coding Abilities...

One of the fastest growing groups of keywords in online job adverts centre around basic coding skills, and include ‘Android’, ‘iOS’, and ‘HTML5’, as well as ‘mobile app’. The ability to create custom coding for a website, tweak a site’s existing code, or add extra features to template-built sites like WordPress is incredibly valuable in an employee. Even if your team doesn’t include a website developer, your marketing staff will frequently need to make small changes that are very quick and simple to achieve if you have basic coding skills.

This can massively improve the functionality of your website, the user experience of your clients, and the productivity of your staff.

Even if you don’t need someone capable of coding a website, the effective use of spreadsheets and databases is something every business can benefit from. Employing a Software Development technician who is capable of computer programming is a vital addition to any modern team. Computer programming is a core role when it comes to designing, testing, and maintaining software systems within your business, ensuring better productivity and growth. Both our Software Development Technician Apprenticeship Level 3 and our Software Developer Apprenticeship are perfect for this.

Increase Productivity And Innovation...

If your team has the right training, they can utilise digital technology to enhance their productivity. Utilising digital documents, project management software, automated systems, and many other digital applications is an easy way to cut the time it takes to complete common tasks, and ensure as much as possible runs on auto-pilot. This frees people up to spend more time concentrating on aspects of the business that require creativity and innovation.

With technology constantly creating new ways for us to work, the possibilities for innovation and improvements are endless. New ways of creating and delivering your products are appearing every year. A digitally-skilled workforce is capable of continually elevating your work; improving your products and services; ensuring you’re always reaching a wider audience; and communicating better.

Businesses that are happy to embrace these changes will find themselves reaping the rewards of a satisfied workforce, a happy customer base, and an exponentially increasing bottom line. An Infrastructure Technician with a full range of CompTIA A+ skills can set up your team on their systems, solve problems, and ensure your organisation’s productivity - all skills taught on our Infrastructure Technical Apprenticeship.

Nurture Your Customer Relationships...

Your consumers are spending more and more time on digital channels and there’s an extremely high demand for online accessibility and experiences. It’s essential for the modern business to respond to this growing demand, engage with clients online, and continue to build relationships through a wide range of online channels, including email, mobile apps, social platforms, and more.

It’s essential your team has the ‘netiquette’ needed to create a positive online experience for your customers, and keep boosting your visibility in the digital space. Having an IT Technical Salesperson on your team is the perfect way to ensure someone is working to maintain exceptional relationships with existing clients to gain repeat business, while approaching potential customers to win new business. Our IT Technical Salesperson apprenticeship can teach a member of your team (or new apprentice) all they will need to know by using CompTIA IT and CompTIA Cloud fundamentals, learning the essentials of sales and strategic selling.

Boost Your Revenue...

Speaking of your profit margin, the majority of businesses are now fully aware of the potential an online presence has to increase revenue levels. While the traditional methods of selling and marketing your products and services are increasingly outdated in the face of the digital revolution, online methods are gaining more traction and becoming more effective every year.

With innovations like video marketing and augmented reality totally changing the way customers interact with your business, there are an increasing number of ways to buy from you, and an ever-increasing number of formats available for product and service creation.

The Easy Way To Upskill Your Team…

For the modern business, digital skills are essential to not only survive but to thrive. If you’re looking for an effective way to upskill your team with new digital skills, or offer a digital apprenticeship and gain a member of staff dedicated to keeping abreast of the latest digital technologies, we’re here to help. As professional apprentice recruiters and providers of high-quality training, you can rely on Intraining to ensure your business has all the digital skills needed to join the digital revolution. Get in touch now to discuss the best way to take advantage of our digital training.

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