Digital Skills Gap: what are the costs for companies?

According to Randstad, 56% of employees believe that they don’t have the skills required today to master digital technologies. Impressive, isn’t it?

At the time of digital transformation, employees’ digital incompetence is a considerable obstacle to the sustainability of companies. Whether financial, operational or human, the cost of digital skills obsolescence is very real. 

In this article, you’ll discover the consequences and costs of the digital skills gap, and practical keys to support your employees and company towards digital maturity.

Digital skills gap: say goodbye to productivity

When it comes to costs, the digital skills gap is above all a time thief. Your employees waste time researching, understanding and practicing digital skills. According to Dynamic Signal, 36% of employees say they don’t know where to find the information they need to do their jobs. As a consequence?

85% of users lose at least 1–2 hours of productivity each week searching for information

(Dynamic Signal)

A significant cost, since the time employees dedicate to searching for information or filling their digital skills gap is time away from key projects or tasks. But the impact of the digital skills gap isn’t only about employees struggling with digital incompetence.

As a matter of fact, the IT department is also strongly impacted, starting with support teams that must support employees towards digital maturity. But here’s the problem. 

Support teams need 24.2 hours on average to provide a first answer to internal tickets


By spending countless time responding to internal tickets, support teams lack the time they actually need to support the company on more strategic topics such as security and innovation. And since we are talking about digital incompetence, what if we looked at digital tools?

On average, companies waste 37% of their software budget. There may be many reasons, such as investing in the wrong tools, failing to deploy software, or unused applications. Among other things, 28% of software is unused (1E), and when they are used, digital tools are sometimes poorly understood. For example, 43% of CRM users use less than half of the features available on their CRM (CSO Insights). So, how can you optimize the productivity of your employees at a lower cost?

🍋 Train your employees differently

Who said the digital skills gap was doomed to last forever? Place user training back at the heart of your company, and it will help counter digital skills obsolescence. Say hello to training 2.0, continuous training, adapted to your employees’ needs, accessible directly from their software. Did you know?

49% of users prefer to learn at the point of need and 58 % prefer to learn at their own pace 


With a digital adoption platform, companies can now rely on new training approaches, such as Learning by Doing. Need to learn how to create a new opportunity on a CRM, to edit an invoice on a HRIS or to complete supplier data in an ERP? Now your employees can do it directly from their software with the help of integrated interactive guides. The cherry on top? By relying on training methods such as micro-learning, your learners are trained in guides with a maximum length of 3 minutes. This new learning experience provides them with short, digestible content that makes it possible to overcome the obsolescence of (digital) skills, save time and increase productivity. What else?

Digital incompetence: say goodbye to employee engagement

One of the biggest costs of digital incompetence is workforce disengagement. Disengaged employees are particularly detached from their position and from the company because they feel less fulfilled. The result is less involvement, less efficiency and higher chances of leaving the company. And it’s far from trivial, since on average only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged (Gallup). But how much do you think a disengaged employee costs?

$11,358: that’s about what a disengaged employee costs in the U.S.

(Gallup, LinkedIn)

Without support for digital transformation, employees may feel powerless and helpless in the face of change. A gap in their digital skills can result in the loss of time, productivity, and autonomy, severely impacting the success of software adoption. But the impact of digital incompetence doesn’t stop at software.

82% of companies recognize the role that employees’ digital experience plays in business performance, rating it as “very important” to “vital”.

(Nexthink – Vanson Bourne)

🍋 Say hello to digital culture

To help re-engage employees, it’s essential to bring meaning to their position and presence within the company. But there’s more. The digital experience is now synonymous with employee experience. As a result, corporate cultures must evolve and integrate their digital cultures. By fostering a digital culture, you empower your employees to fully embrace and navigate the digital transformation. This not only enhances their experience, but also helps them find purpose and meaning in the changes happening around them.


Digital incompetence: say goodbye to competitiveness

Digital incompetence directly impacts companies’ competitiveness, and therefore their sustainability. Faced with digital transformation, the obsolescence of skills is increasingly important. According to Cegos, 39% of jobs present a risk of skills obsolescence in the next 3 years. This coincides with what employees feel: 43% of them feel that they’ll (soon) no longer have the necessary skills to exercise their profession properly. Among other things, skills obsolescence particularly affects digital skills.

56% of employees believe that they don’t have the skills required today to master digital technologies


Digital transformation is essential for both sustainability and competitiveness in today’s business landscape. Without embracing digital skills and technologies, companies risk falling behind their competitors. Unfortunately, delaying digital transformation can have negative consequences and put your company at a disadvantage.

Competitiveness directly impacts the long-term viability of businesses, just like productivity and employee engagement. To stay ahead of the game, it’s crucial to anticipate the challenges of tomorrow by taking action today. But how can you actually achieve this?

🍋 Put innovation back at the heart of your business

What if we talk about optimizing digital transformation? According to Gartner, a whopping 30% of organizations will gain a competitive edge by empowering their workforce to creatively use new technologies. The lesson here is clear: the time we waste today becomes a competitive disadvantage tomorrow. That’s why it’s crucial to support your employees on their journey towards digital maturity right now. By keeping your workforce digitally savvy, you empower them to unleash their innovative potential. When every employee becomes a driving force of the business, focusing on strategic tasks and projects, who said innovation is just for the future? It’s time to embrace innovation today and make it a part of your business’s DNA.

The digital skills gap among employees can lead to productivity loss, decreased competitiveness, and disengagement. But don’t worry, you don’t have to bid farewell to these crucial pillars of business sustainability. In fact, placing people at the center of digital transformation allows us to overcome digital incompetence. Training, fostering a supportive corporate culture, and promoting innovation are key to bridging the skills gap.

What’s where digital adoption platforms come in. These tools simplify the digital employee experience and enable companies to drive change more efficiently. With the help of digital adoption platforms, companies can navigate the digital transformation journey with ease, empowering employees to embrace new technologies and thrive in the digital age. So, don’t let the digital skills gap hold you back. Embrace training, culture, innovation, and the right digital tools to fuel your success.

Tags: Training

Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.