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Greg Satell of Forbes recently wrote, “In the late 90’s McKinsey declared the war for talent and argued that, in a knowledge economy, having the right people is even more important than having the right strategy or technology.  Recruiting and retaining the ‘best and the brightest’ quickly became a corporate mantra. Yet today, the firm is more concerned with the skills gap.  In data science, for example it estimates a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers who have the skills needed to use the insights to drive decisions. But even that understates the problem. With technology accelerating change in the marketplace and automation replacing highly skilled workers with robots, the decision to invest in any particular set of skills is far from a forgone conclusion and platitudes about ‘investing in our people’ will no longer suffice.  We need to start thinking seriously about viable strategies for managing the skills gap.”

 

Satell continues, “We desperately need to change the way we think about talent.  In 1997, when McKinsey published its report, the lines dividing companies and industries were fairly clear.  Competition really was like a war and the resources you brought to battle largely determined whether you would succeed or fail.  That’s changed substantially. In today’s semantic economy, it’s not so important what assets you own, but what you can access.  The basis of competition is no longer between firms, but ecosystems.  Open architectures and cloud technology have made it easier to tap outside resources—such as partners and highly skilled contract workers—to get things done.”

 

Read more here, then consider building your own skills by attending one or more of our co-located conferences this August: The  Semantic Technology and Business Conference, NoSQL Now!, and the inaugural Cognitive Computing Forum.

 

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ lisainglass