Retail Sector Sees Huge Digital Skills Gap, Says Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 12, 2018

retail ai

While Indian retailers are betting big on emerging technologies like Blockchain, Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, by making huge investments in technological advancements, the same cannot be saif about their investments across people management functions, creating a major IT or digital skills gap in the country’s retail sector.

According to the research conducted by PeopleStrong, more than 53 percent of CHRO’s representing over 500+ retail enterprises in India believe that their HR verticals are still 6 quarters away from embracing AI in their day-to-day work. One of the major reasons, as observed by around 59% of the respondent CHRO’s, is the absence of seamless flow of data between different HR functions as the information lies in Silos and different platforms making it difficult to have a unified view of this data for better insights

With this being said as the survey highlights, Indian organizations are expected to bridge this gap by 2020. Both Indian & global HR Tech companies have already initiated this journey of revolutionising the way Indian Retail enterprises manage People & Talent function. Leading the way, PeopleStrong is transforming & advocating growing use of Digital aids and has seen major benefits delivered by these transformations in some of the largest enterprises in Indian Retail sector. 

An indication of this development is the fact that 59.18% of these companies have started storing their HR Data on cloud, with majority of them replacing legacy systems in recent past. Presently, only 24.49% spend more than 10 USD per employee and another 45% of these organisations’ report 5-10 USD spends which is bound to increase soon as their legacy systems move to cloud based transformative technology.

Analyzing the research findings, Prakash Rao, Founding Member and VP, HCM, PeopleStrong said, “There is a tremendous potential for this number to see a hike in the coming months.  We are already seeing the change in the mindset of CHROs for adopting new age HR Technology solutions shifting away from Traditional ERPs.”

“According to the India Retail Report released last September, India has replaced China as the top retail destination. This has led to an increased global participation, with Indian retail space witnessing a number of big ticket deals. We have also experienced lot of inbound requests in the HR tech space especially for AI and ML enabled solutions.

In such a competitive scenario, it becomes important for these enterprises to augment their People and Talent Management competencies by integrating technologies like Artificial Intelligence in their everyday work. The motive behind conducting this research was to understand HR tech adoption by Indian retail enterprises and map the expected way forward.” Prakash added.