Only 2% of board members in Latvia’s leading retail trade companies have skills working with digital technologies. The same applies to 6% of board members in transport and logistics companies, 4% – in energy companies and 0% in manufacturing companies, according to results of a study performed by personnel selection company Amrop.
«Any Latvian business that wishes to be competitive needs to have good orientation skills in the globalized world, because Latvia’s market is too small for a big business. This is why it is worth thinking regionally, and modern technologies can help connect and become a large or small link in the globalized system of values,» says Amrop partner Viesturs Liegis. According to him, the study shows a worrying situation – skills in the use of digital technologies in Latvian companies remain underdeveloped.
The company performed a study, analysing management boards of TOP 10 largest companies in eleven European countries and USA.
Study results show that 36% of board members in companies of technology sector are digital strategy experts. The situation in other industries, on the other hand, is not as positive: 7% in pharmacy and healthcare, 5% in energy, retail trade and manufacturing, and only 4% in financial services industry.
Even now company managers have to make more and more complicated decisions, because technologies are developing at an unprecedented rate. One can only guess what unlimited opportunities can be offered by current AI technologies, Amrop believes.
«The question is no longer about adapting modern technologies to business. Businessmen have to consider completely new business models based around technologies. Hiring a good IT department lead is no longer good enough. It would be best to change the company’s entire internal culture and think about the best possible use of technologies. Just look at Uber,» the company’s representative says.
Liegis adds: «This is why it is highly important to ensure there are people in management boards with business and technical skills. Only by combining the two is it possible to consider new forms of business. In this regard, Amrop’s performed study on digital competence of Latvian management boards and its results are rather worrying.»
The company notes: «Predictions state that the 4th industrial revolution will result of five million jobs disappearing in Europe in the next three years. This does not apply solely to labourers, bit to so-called white-collar workers as well – administrators, attorneys, accountants, consultants and others.»
«Latvia is the largest IT services exporter among Baltic States. It is our treasure, which should be used in a time when changes caused by technologies are lightning-fast. In the context of lost jobs and that it will be necessary to re-train people in the future, it would be a good idea to start teaching programming skills to children at school. There will never be too many programmers in Latvia. The importance of digital skills will only increase in the future,» Liegis says.