Lack of talent hampers digital transformation in Indonesia. Many Indonesian companies have showed their strong commitment to digitalize their businesses, but a limited availability of talent and skills has hampered their digital transformation programs.
A survey called Disruptive Decision Making conducted by a managed solution service provider, PT Teltranet Aplikasi Solusi (Telkomtelstra), found that 36 percent of business leaders in Indonesia considered talent and skills shortages to have hampered their efforts to digitalize their businesses.
Telkomtelstra CEO Erik Meijer said that there were two main challenges for companies looking to digitalize, namely talent shortages and improving employees’ skillsets to adjust to the new business model.
“There is a lack of digital talent because this is a relatively new field and the talents available in the market are in high demand […] the second challenge is how to improve [current] employees’ skillsets and adjust to the new reality [because] digital transformation must also include them,” Erik told The Jakarta Post in an interview at his office on Aug.13.
According to the survey, Indonesian companies rate their technological understanding over other factors when evaluating their decision-making ability and performance. The survey, however, showed that successful companies globally focused more on human resources compared to technology.
“Digital transformation is made possible by technology, but it must be led by competent human resources. Our study, however, showed that employees in Indonesia have yet to be given sufficient attention,” said Erik.
Companies should transform themselves from a top-down hierarchy model into an agility-based organization to succeed in digital transformation and continuously involve their employees in transforming their business online, Erik said.
“Companies should also opt to transform their talents to become digital-minded by involving them in the process,” Erik said, adding that many companies made mistakes by hiring consultants to help them cope with digital transformation because it did not involve their employees.
The survey involved 350 Indonesian decision makers from 12 industries such as manufacturing, banking and tourism.
Contacted separately, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) vice chairman Raden Pardede agreed with the results of the research by pointing out the limited ability of educational institutions to supply talent with digital skills.
“Universities, polytechnics and training institutions should enhance their [digital] capacity programs while companies should also carry out internal training programs,” Raden told the Post on Monday.
The study found that 26 percent of Indonesian respondents considered that they were “extremely far” along in their efforts to achieve digital transformation, more than the 21 percent globally.
Raden said that the number could only be applied in big businesses because many small and middle-sized enterprises have yet to make the digital transformation.
Erik said that many business leaders were positive regarding their ability to transform their business online, but he warned them of complacency. “How do we know that our digital transformation is extremely far if we do not know what the endgame is?” asked Erik, adding that the fast-changing technology industry is too unpredictable to arrive at such a conclusion.
Raden said that companies should eventually take on the digital transformation. “The government and business community are working together as we need suitable planning, road maps and comprehensive implementation strategies to ensure that it would become a reality.”
According to the study, 33 percent of respondents said they have invested more than US$500,000 for digital products and services while 8 percent of respondents said they invested more than $5 million to digitalize their businesses.
Despite local companies’ efforts to put their trust in digital investments, many have yet to achieve success from it, in part because of talent and skill shortages, the survey found. Lack of talent hampers digital transformation in Indonesia (awa, The Jakarta Post)