The digital skills gap is real and has the potential to sink organizations that don’t catch it early amongst their employees. The office, Internet and digital collaboration skills that were once just nice-to-have capabilities have now fully become the backbone of any workplace. Think about applications like Dropbox, Twitter and Skype, which, although they were relatively unknown just years ago, are now used pervasively by employees across organizations to increase productivity and drive innovation. The frantic pace of digital transformation is having a major impact on businesses of every size, in every sector and is responsible for a wide variety of hidden costs as unprepared employees may negatively affect both their own productivity and that of the team members around them.

Only 53 percent of laborers feel confident that their level of computer and Internet skills is sufficient. More broadly, just one in ten adults in the U.S. feels they’re proficient with the digital tools they’re responsible for using every day at work. How can organizations expect to thrive in the digital age when such a striking percentage of the workforce is struggling to keep up with the skills needed to optimize this new technology?

As the rate at which we’re seeing new technologies and platforms introduced to the market is increasing exponentially, it’s not uncommon to see a newly-learned digital skill have a half-life as short as two years. This means that, while we do need to be making training resources readily available to our workers, it’s just as important that we make the learning process continuous and fluid so that our employees’ development is keeping pace with the rate at which new digital tools are introduced to them.

With Skillsoft’s acquisition of Vodeclic and the addition of Vodeclic’s more than 25,000 video tutorials to the Skillsoft content offerings, global, cloud-based learning solutions can now deliver even more tools that address this digital skills gap. The relationship is symbiotic with the combined organization now poised to bring a wider set of digital competencies to a wider audience of learners. Vodeclic’s strength is in providing content that emphasizes skills for highly-sought-after digital professionals, such as Prezi, Photoshop, Office 365, Salesforce, Evernote and more. But keeping with the microlearning mindset of the digital age of learning, the real strength is in the rapid release of new video courses as the digital landscape delivers us new and exciting platforms to learn. The idea that every employee is only three clicks and five minutes away from any digital skill he needs for the job is in fact the prime weapon against the skills gap.

The digital and desktop skills are presented in a manner Skillsoft users have been accustomed to seeing for years with video-based courses led by highly-credentialed subject matter experts. The new solutions, however, will leverage Skillsoft’s expertise in instructional design and include a number of well thought-out learning features that cohesively assist the users’ performance. For example, different layers of integrated assessment for each video course provides targeted insight into individual employee’s skill gaps while the social messaging feature helps boost teams’ performance by opening up the ability of communication and recommendation.

Sustainable organizational growth often depends on the successful implementation of engaging learning programs that improve that organization’s ability to address rapidly evolving business challenges. In today’s world, these organizations no longer decide when to upgrade their application portfolio and are instead forced to embrace today’s digital environment of telecommuting, bring-your-own-device, and more. It is imperative that organizations provide employees accessible and relevant learning opportunities to keep up with the accelerated technological change.

With more tools available to deliver relevant and effective learning opportunities to close these skills gaps, organizations have an unprecedented opportunity for growth through continuously developing employees’ digital skills.

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