Digitalization in Germany: Skills gap is getting bigger - innovation or stagnation?

28. february 2024

The journey to digitalization is very advanced in most of Scandinavia.It has several components and the Danish experience holds valuable insights for Germany. Key amongst these was the successful harnessing and integration of a vast, external talent pool.

Torsten Bielefeldt Schlägelberger, CEO of Conscensia, a Danish IT consultancy company, highlights nearshoring as a key part of the solution to Germany’s talent challenge.

Bitkom President Dr Ralf Wintergerst:

“The shortage of IT specialists in Germany is independent of economic cycles and is a systemic problem for the German economy. Too few skilled workers and too much regulation are slowing down digital Germany”

Torsten emphasizes that the teams his company runs in Warsaw, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine are not peripheral units but rather integral growth engines woven into his clients corporate DNA.

“Our nearshore teams are an essential part in realizing our clients’ IT projects, and driving their business. Finding the right people is no longer an issue; it’s one, simple item on the agenda.”

“The Product/Market mix from our company perspective is, in my opinion, ideal for Germany, since we place stability at the center of everything we do.”

Torsten betont, dass die Teams, die sein Unternehmen in Warschau, Polen und Lwiw, Ukraine leitet, keine Randeinheiten sind, sondern integrale Wachstumsmotoren, die in die Unternehmens-DNA seiner Kunden eingewoben sind.

As Germany stands at the threshold of its digitalization journey, the stakes are high, with significant economic implications. The German economy is losing substantial revenue due to the scarcity of qualified IT professionals. As of Dec 23, there were almost 150.000 unfilled vacancies in the industry. By 2035 Germany will be short of some 7 million skilled workers across sectors (1)

“Lack of labor is the greatest threat to business development in 50% of German companies”

The German Economic Institute spotlighted a stagnating digitalization index in 2023 (2) which stands in sharp contrast to the need for digital competitiveness.

Germany’s situation reflects a critical shortage of IT experts that will hinder economic growth and innovation. The European Union’s forecast that 20 million IT specialists will be needed by 2030 to meet the demand for digital skills means Germany must find a substantial number of new IT professionals over and above those already employed in the sector to keep pace with this projection.

“Our nearshore teams are an essential part in realizing our clients’ IT projects”

Since 2006 we have been constantly developing our services and can today offer a mature and proven method for the German market; one that aligns particularly well with German business thinking and values.

”Worries about additional costs, complexity, and cultural divides are often exaggerated and based on outdated assumptions. In today’s globalized world, nearshoring is not only feasible; done well with a premium supplier, it’s reliable, and also imperative for securing growth and competitiveness,”

Check out what Hawesko had to say about this here:

A mature and proven nearshore model

The time to act is now if Germany is to secure its digital future and not lag in the international tech race. With a well-thought-out strategy and robust partnerships, German businesses can overcome the current IT talent crisis and secure a strong position on the global stage.

Over the next six months, Conscensia is set to publish a series of articles debunking the myths surrounding nearshoring—stay tuned for insights that could drive German companies to take decisive steps toward harnessing nearshore capabilities to fuel their digital ambitions.

Facts from B2B CYBER Security

  • Currently, just 2 percent of companies consider the supply of IT specialists on the labour market to be sufficient, compared to 8 percent a year ago.
  • 70 per cent (2022: 74 per cent) say there is a shortage of IT specialists.
  • Only 3 percent expect the shortage to decrease (2022: 2 percent).
  • 77 percent fear that the situation will worsen (2022: 70 percent).
  • Six out of ten companies (60 per cent) are already noticing that it is slower to fill vacancies for IT specialists than other positions, with vacancies remaining unfilled for an average of 7.7 months. A year ago, the figure was 7.1 months.
  • In one in five companies (21 per cent), the average is 10 to 12 months, in 4 per cent it is even more than a year.