DNV GL: Digital skills gap holding back energy sector

DNV GL

A lack of digital skills and internal barriers related to company culture and mindset are the biggest roadblocks hindering digital progress in the energy sector, according to a new report from DNV GL.

Seventy-one per cent of organisations in the industry need employees with combined domain and digital experience and 18 per cent claim to not have a single employee with this combined skillset.

These are just some of the findings from the new DNV GL report Digitalization and the future of energy, which surveyed nearly 2000 engineers and senior executives from start-ups to large corporations in the energy sector.

The research also reveals unanimous recognition that digital skills training is needed, with 91 per cent of respondents regarding it fundamental for their organisation to invest in.

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Data science and big data analytics are the most important digital skillsets for future energy workforces, cited by 41 per cent and 35 per cent respondents respectively.

Even though data science was highlighted as the most sought-after skill, currently only 23 per cent of respondents stated that this role exists within their organisation.

Creativity was also ranked highly, with 65 per cent of respondents saying that they need employees with creative problem-solving skills among their workforce.

DNV GL says the energy industry needs to change rapidly, striving to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the planet for future generations. Transforming traditional operations through digitalisation plays a vital role in enabling this change and facilitating the energy transition.

Vice president of technology and innovation at DNV GL – Energy Lucy Craig says the energy industry is facing internal organisational hurdles that threaten its ability to keep up with the pace of digital progress.

“The technology to enable digital transformation is available but there’s a critical element missing that needs to be in place for digitalisation to be successful,” Ms Craig says.

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“Organisations need to invest in practical skills training combined with a mindset shift to ensure their employees have the skills to add value on top of technology implementation.

“But just as we need to foster an individual mindset geared towards digitalisation we also need to foster a collective one too, one which goes to the core of a company’s culture and challenges the industry’s strategic and operational ways of working.”

The full report Digitalization and the future of energy: Beyond the hype – How to create value by combining digital technology, people and business strategy is available to download here.