Hobbyists still run the digital world – where are the experts?

A crowd using their phones as lights

True digital natives are valuable. Their expertise should be shared across the entire organisation. Photograph: Michael Hornb/Rex

Nobody is new to digital any more. It is merely the water in which we swim – a normal, everyday part of our lives. Yet the business news we see daily is littered with stories of rampant success and shocking failure.

Brand Learning recently carried out research among senior management, analysing the digital maturity of global companies, which might reveal some of the underlying reasons. At first it looks like good news. Six out of 10 directors say their business has seen an emergence of a culture that integrates new digital behaviours with its existing company heritage. These companies demonstrate an increasingly mature attitude to risk, recognising the need to change ahead of market disruption.

However, here’s the rub: more than a third (35 per cent) also say their digital change still relies on hobbyists and passionate individuals, and that they have no specialist digital people (so-called digital natives). In fact, only 4 per cent would call their employees genuine digital natives: agile and entrepreneurial people who are both passionate about customer value and embracers of technology.

Brand Learning spoke to 42 human resource directors at some of the world’s biggest household brands and the findings suggest that digital still seems to be handled in silos and minority pockets. It shows the thin ice on which some digital strategies are being built, even among companies that seem at first glance to have it all in hand.

Source: theguardian.com

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