Benchmarking digital capability: The Digiskills Report Q4 2015

AVADO has released its latest report on digital capability, providing a benchmark for businesses to understand what the key capabilities are, and how their organisation compares against the wider industry.

To launch the report, I took to the stage at Google’s London headquarters, summarising the key findings for an audience of L&D decision makers and senior digital leaders. Access your copy of the Digiskills Report.

Digital capability is not equally distributed within the organisation and varies between function, with certain functions acting as catalysts.

The trigger for change often comes from leadership, but requires effective support functions, particularly learning and development (L&D), to be fully implemented.


Claim your free copy of the Digiskills Report, a 33-page report benchmarking digital capability.


Key Findings

  • Understanding of digital skills by the L&D function is closely correlated with the digital literacy of the entire organisation (page 6), underlining the pivotal role that L&D plays in both implementing and maintaining digital transformation.
  • Less than a quarter of organisations are digitally literate (page 5), going by the representative digital capabilities used in the report.
  • We found that digital literacy is closely correlated with customer understanding (page 14), suggesting that those companies that listen to and engage with customers better recognise the imperative to build a digital business.
  • It is important for senior leaders to take ownership of the ‘digital’ vision for the company. Organisations with a clear digital vision set by senior leadership are likely to hold a higher level of digital literacy (page 8). However, senior leaders consistently estimate a higher level of digital capability in their organisation, compared to executives in less senior roles (page 9).
  • We set out to understand how organisations are using digital techniques, particularly data to inform their decision making and improve efficiency. We found that only one third of organisations measure the financial impact of digital transformation (page 12). Whilst data is being collected in the majority of businesses (84%) it is not being used or shared effectively (page 24).
  • Less than 45% of respondents say that actual data is referred to in meetings before making a decision (page 23).
  • Without this data readily available it was not surprising to find that 30% of organisations do not develop products and services in an agile way (page 17).
  • The report validated the theory that the marketing department is an early adopter and champion of digital technology, with 46% adoption rates – much higher than other business functions (page 26). Similarly, digital marketing channels are widely used by the organisations that we surveyed (page 20).

The overall picture suggests that businesses are beginning to adapt and experiment and put in place the processes that will enable them to transform. The critical change will be assessing and analysing the specific skills required by the workforce, and finding effective solutions to address those needs.

However, we found that 43% of organisations are unable to quickly upskill their existing talent with the digital skills they need (page 29). This underlines the essential role that a learning and development function can play as both a workforce catalyst and champion on the board.

Claim your free copy of the Digiskills Report, a 33-page report benchmarking digital capability.



Stephanie Khan

Posted December 16, 2015