IoT: Skillset Required

When it comes to the Internet of Things, there are certain skills required to be able to implement and maintain it.  Go to far, and you’ve got an overly complicated system that few can use and has many redundant features.  Don’t set up enough and you simply won’t have the data you need to make an impact in your business.  The IoT is a very delicate system and as such, requires people that understand it fully.  Unfortunately, those people are few and in high demand.

Most businesses just don’t have the skills.

A recent survey of mid to large-sized companies showed that the vast majority of businesses are interested in implementing IoT features.  That same survey also showed that few are actually ready to deal with the change.  The biggest problem?  A stark lack of skills.  Only 20% of companies interested in IoT said they were confident they had the skills needed to implement their IoT plans.

Security, support, and data specialists are among the most demanded.  With such a high demand though, having people in-house has become a challenge for many.  In fact, nearly 75% of businesses said they had plans to outsource at least part of their IoT workload.  When a skillset is in such low supply and high demand, there’s really no other option.

What skills are needed in the IoT?

For starters, you need to be able to understand technology, how it works, and how to embed systems accordingly.  Understanding the capabilities of machines, what’s needed, and where its needed is key to efficiency and a key part of being an IoT expert.

You’ll also need some knowledge of networking, computer programming, and cloud computing.  Communication is what keeps the IoT alive, and these skills allow your sensors to do just that.  With cloud computing, you’re able to handle the massive amounts of data being sent much more easily.

A background in big data can help, too.  You have to remember that your sensors are going to be sending huge amounts of data out.  Being able to analyse and interpret this data is absolutely necessary when working in the IoT.

Lastly, network security is a huge addition that can help.  Making things work properly is great, but keeping them safe is just as important.  With scandals such as the attack on Dyn, you’ve got to be very careful on how you’re sending and receiving data.  Knowing a bit about cyber security is a necessity when it comes to working on the Internet of Things.

When it comes to a game-changer like the IoT, it’s not unexpected to have such a big demand/supply disparity at the start.  A different set of skills is required for it than has been for most other jobs, and training for it takes time.  As it stands, outsourcing and offering training programmes is a company’s best bet for breaking into the IoT-era.

Tackling the Usability Issue in the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most rapidly evolving sectors in the tech industry. By 2020, there’s expected to be almost 25 billion working devices throughout the world. Data from coast to coast being transmitted constantly between one another, analysed, broken down, and acted upon. It’s no surprise that this rapid growth has left a little to be desired when it comes to usability. Luckily, some companies are tackling that issue head on.

Integration

“There’s an app for that” is a saying that’s grown in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. Chances are, whatever you’re looking for, you likely could find an app for it. Need to find your phone? There’s an app for that. Need a good, local restaurant? What about food delivered? You need it, your phone’s got it. The same is likely to be true for many IoT-enabled devices.

Without a way to interact with your device on an instantaneous level, you’re severely hindered. Imagine you’ve got a smart home. You’ve got smart lights and a smart clock installed in it. For these items to be useful, you’ve got to have a way to interact with and change certain settings. For instance, what wattage you’d like your lights at in each room, the brightness, etc. The same is true for your clock. If you’re out for most of the day, it can rest during those hours.

Creating a ‘hub’

Having one place where you can do everything is just as important. Companies are starting to focus more on “one-stop-shopping” and for you, and the IoT, that’s a great thing. The more the IoT grows, the bigger an issue this becomes. After all, I wouldn’t want to have to go through a dozen different apps or portals to make changes to my clock, lights, car, and everything else.

By putting all of these different apps in one place, you get a fast, reliable, singular place to tend to all your needs at once. Just look at our phones. Twenty years ago, they were simply made to make calls. Ten years and they were for calls and texts. Now, they’re a multimedia device for anything from journals to searching the web to playing games. The same, in time, will be true of the Internet of Things.

Creating new partnerships between companies

Creating that hub discussed above has a big impact on companies, too. By having to collaborate between each other, two companies which might’ve never needed to interact before could very well form a strategic partnership. How does the consumer?

For one, costs will go down. If a company has less work to do thanks to this partnership, they can decrease their prices. Less time spent developing also gives more time to other issues like improvements, bug-fixing, and user-friendliness.

It can also lead even further to new technologies all together. When companies begin sharing information and working together, huge strides can be made. Just look at the space industry if you don’t believe me. Boeing, Lockheed, Orbital ATK, and SpaceX are sharing knowledge and other resources to all reach a common goal.

The more the Internet of Things grows, the more crucial each of these points become. With 2020 just around the corner, there’s no signs of the IoT slowing down. Consumer-focused devices are an important step in the right direction.