Majority of Dutch Employees Want New Digital Skills, Revealing Millions of Potential Workers to Accelerate Enterprise Digitalization, New Survey Reports
- 1.8 million potential low-code users in Netherlands’ full-time workforce
- 77% of surveyed workers say they want to learn new digital skills: only 6 percent actively do now
- 57% want to contribute to the organization’s digitalization efforts
- Almost half (46 percent) of employees in the Netherlands expressed a desire to develop software applications
- Half of the employees cite low-code knowledge as important for current job position
ROTTERDAM – March 31, 2021 – Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in low-code application development for the enterprise, today published the Dutch results of the international survey “Low-Code Forecasts 2021”. The study found 1.8 million potential low-code developers among the Netherlands’ 4.5 million full-time workers. The study further shows that 77% of Dutch employees are eager to develop new digital skills. However, only 6% are actively pursuing this currently. The leading reasons employees cite for not undertaking new digital skill sets are satisfaction with current skill level (35%) and time constraints (21%). However, according to Gartner, there is an urgent need to greatly expand the pool of developer talent to keep up with the pace of digitalization, as IT departments receive five times the number of application requests than they can deliver.
An employee who now wants to develop an app will send this request to the IT department in 30% of the cases. A quarter of the respondents stated that they would get started with personal training. This means there is an enormous potential for employers to productively engage with 55% of their workers on the urgent issue of skills training and development. Currently, in 40% of cases, a new app is developed by the IT department in collaboration with relevant colleagues and in 37% by the IT department alone. In 25% of the cases, the development is outsourced to an external partner and in 7%, a turnkey solution comes from a supplier.
The ongoing shortage of IT staff has been recognized for years. In 2020, the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen) again referred to it in the report on “promising and less promising professions”. In addition to sufficient career opportunities for cloud engineering and security specialists, there is also large, rising demand for software developers. Mendix commissioned the international study, surveying employees in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and the Netherlands, to assess the number of potential software developers there are among the industrial workforce and the motives driving professionals to develop new digital skills.
More than half say they want to contribute to enterprise digitization
Of those surveyed, 83% say it’s never too late to learn new digital skills. Age need not play a role in job force retraining or additional training for an IT position. Once such skills are acquired, 57% of the respondents would plan on contributing to the digitalization of the organization. In addition, 46% would like to develop an application that solves a specific problem or targeted work challenge. Another 56% of the respondents also believe that the success and impact of their current job activities would be more successful with improved digital skills. More than a quarter — 27% — cite improved digital skills as a path to work in other sectors, 25% would leverage new skills to move up in the company.
More successful digital initiatives through collaboration
The survey also asked what employees think they can contribute if they further develop their digital skills. 40% said it would help them better understand business needs and 35% would like to work with the IT team to tackle challenges. 33% say that the implementation of digital initiatives would be more successful if tackled together with the IT team.
Harnessing the power of low-code software development
One way to develop an application in collaboration with the IT department is to use a low-code platform. With low-code, developers with different levels of experience can develop applications using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic. More than half of the respondents (54%) had never heard of low-code before the survey, 31% know the technology but do not know how it works and 14% know what low-code is and how it is applied. Only 1% actually use low-code. When researchers describe and define low-code, more than half of the Dutch employees say they see the benefits of working with it.
“There is an enormous need to enable people to work smarter and more effectively with the tools to convert ideas into digital solutions,” says Hans de Visser, vice president of product management at Mendix. “Too often, these resources are directed only at IT department professionals and there is enormous untapped potential to be found among employees who can make valuable contributions. Using Mendix’s low-code platform, companies can unlock their potential without losing control over important issues such as security and governance. By developing applications with a visual interface and drag-and-drop components, employees with substantial domain knowledge can collaborate on building applications that not only digitize processes, but also transform business operations. This benefits both the company and the customers who are better served by new digital solutions.
About the survey methodology
The survey was conducted by Reputation Leaders on behalf of Mendix. The online survey was conducted on a nationally representative (age, gender, region) sample of 250 full-time employees between the ages of 18 and 64, currently living in the Netherlands. Of the total respondents, 54% reported being male and 46% female. The projections are based on the total Dutch workforce as defined by the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. The margin of error is 6.2%.
Connect with Mendix
Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in enterprise low-code, is fundamentally reinventing the way applications are built in the digital enterprise. With the Mendix platform, enterprises can ‘Make with More,’ by broadening an enterprise’s development capability to conquer the software development bottleneck; ‘Make it Smart,’ by making apps with rich native experiences that are intelligent, proactive, and contextual; and ‘Make at Scale,’ to modernize core systems and build large app portfolios to keep pace with business growth. The Mendix platform is built to promote intense collaboration between business and IT teams and dramatically accelerate application development cycles, while maintaining the highest standards of security, quality, and governance — in short, to help enterprises confidently leap into their digital futures. Mendix’s ‘Go Make It’ platform has been adopted by more than 4,000 leading companies around the world.