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Revathi V Gopal
Written by :
Revathi V Gopal
May 17, 2023
16 min read

Skills Complexity and Organizational Impact: All you need to know

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The rapid digital transformations have impacted the skill universe like a storm. As per the iMocha-EY Skills Transformation Report, 18% of the surveyed organizations believe they would have to revamp tech skills for a third of their talent base by 2025 to stay competitive. Because of these factors, skill complexity is increasing in different business functions.

Through this blog, we will take you on a short journey examining the concept of skills complexity, its impact on organizations, and how your organization can prepare to navigate the future of work efficiently.

Why is there a skills complexity issue now? Is this a new thing?


There is an increased skill complexity because of rapid digitalization, globalization, and technological transformations. Due to this, skills are drastically evolving, and their shelf lives are decreasing, paving the way for organizations to focus on revamping their workforce to stay relevant and attain business growth.  

You might wonder if the issue of skills becoming complex is a new thing.

Well, not exactly.

If we trace back to when computers and the internet boomed in the 1980s, several skills and job roles became obsolete. To be precise, it was around 3.5 million in the US.

But, in reality, this technology boom gave birth to over 15.8 million jobs in a few decades, ranging from software developers to app developers. As new job roles emerged, new tech skills like coding, app development, and others also formed. So, we can say that this isn’t a new thing. But the pace at which tech transformations happen today is much faster than in the 1980s.  

Technology continues to change the mix of skills required for performing each job role, increasing its complexity. Automation, machine learning, and AI-powered tools make upgrading skills, reskilling, and cross-skilling (focusing on adjacent skills) pivotal for employees to future-proof themselves and remain skills fit. These technological transformations can improve productivity and boost business growth when used correctly. You can understand more about how and why tech skills transform in this digital age across industries from the 2023 iMocha-EY Tech Skills Transformation Report.

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How bad is the situation, and how will skills complexity impact organizations?

Many misunderstand that increased skills complexity would just impact technical roles like software developers, IT professionals, etc. However, tech skill requirements have permeated every industry and job role.  

Let’s analyze this further with an example.  

Previously, a few decades back, some of the top tech skills required for a marketing professional were basic knowledge of HTML, familiarity using email marketing tools, understanding of desktop publishing, etc. It was because most marketing activities during that time focused on fax ads, billboards, yellow pages, etc.  

But today, things have changed drastically. A marketing professional requires a wide range of tech skills in digital advertising, social media analytics, AI-based tools, and the list goes on based on their focus areas. So, regardless of the industry or organization, the complexity of skills required continues to increase.  

Now, let’s look at how skills are becoming increasingly complex in different functional areas like IT and software engineering because of the increased usage of various tools. This will provide you with much more clarity on how bad the situation is. Roles such as software developer, IT engineer, and others have evolved into “Power” software developer and “Power” IT engineer, according to May 2023 Tech Skills Transformation Report by iMocha with EY as the knowledge partner.  

So, what does this mean to you and me?

Let’s have a look!  

Previously, the illustrative tech skill set required for a software developer was typical software development skills such as languages, databases, designing, testing, and manual code writing abilities. But, in this new-age job role of a Power software developer, the illustrative skills set required include:

  • Ability to execute end-to-end software development lifecycle across design, architecture, development deployment, and maintenance
  • Capability to work productively by using AI tools such as ChatGPT, Co-pilot, and others

Well, this is just the beginning, as the complexity of skills continues to aggravate with the tech developments happening alongside. In detail, you can explore how skills complexity impacts job roles like software development, IT engineering, and non-technical business users from the iMocha- EY 2023 Tech Skills Transformation report.

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Organizations in every business sector are impacted by skills complexity, especially in the form of a widening skills gap. 81% of organizations surveyed as part of the iMocha-EY Tech Skills Transformation report stated that power user or developer tech skills are currently unavailable. 5% said they would confront this issue in the next two years, and 14% added that the tech-related skills gap would be a critical concern in their organization in the next three to five years.  

Additionally, 28% of organizations believe that more than 35% of their current tech roles will require skills transformation in the next two to three years. These data points further substantiate the gravity of skills complexity and how it would impact organizations.

How to reduce the impact of skills complexity and future-proof your workforce?


We have looked at some alarming numbers and striking concerns brought forward by increased skills complexity. Since we have examined the problem, it's now time for us to address the solution. How can your organization stay ahead of the competition, beat the impact of the complexity of the ever-increasing skills, and future-proof your workforce?  

Investing in upskilling your employees is one of the best ways to tackle this issue. However, the questions now you would have will be:  

  • How will you know which employee requires upskilling?  
  • Which skills will be critical in boosting your business and help stay relevant?  
  • What are the roles that would change in the next five years?  
  • How can you benchmark your employees' skills, especially while allocating to projects?  
  • How to identify opportunities for cross-skilling and turning your I-shaped employees into T-shaped ones?  
  • How to measure the RoI of your upskilling initiatives?  

And many more queries.  

Your organization can stay ahead of the curve and resolve these concerns by relying on skills intelligence. Skills intelligence is an HR-tech architecture helping your organization to make better hiring decisions and improve talent development and management activities. It can empower businesses by providing a centralized source of information on tech and business skills. Apart from aiding organizations through upskilling, there are many use cases of skills intelligence in HR, management, finance, and sales that can help solve the skills complexity issue and beyond.  

You can explore skills intelligence and how it can assist organizations in navigating the future of work from the Tech Skills Transformation Report. Why not get your copy today to future-proof your workforce and enhance business growth?  

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