As the Internet of Things (IoT) morphs from “future technology” to something enterprises soon will have to manage (if they aren’t doing so already), it’s important to lay the groundwork for successful implementations.
Much of that involves the basics of enterprise technology: Ensuring that data is securely collected, transmitted and analyzed. But making that happen requires skills — and most enterprises today lack sufficient in-house talent to get an IoT initiative off the ground.
Over at The Enterprisers Project, contributor Minda Zetlin chats with David Foote, partner at IT research and analyst firm Foote Partners, about the importance of “getting ahead of the IoT skills gap before it’s too late.”
So which skills should you be looking to acquire?
On the device side, you need data scientists and IT people with security, engineering and artificial intelligence skills, Foote says, adding:
The Internet side of IoT, I think people understand pretty well. But I think the greatest opportunity is in connecting the two. That requires a lot of designers, product designers, user interface people, business intelligence, and people who can do predictive analytics. You’re working with SQL, relational databases, machine learning, and machine-to-machine communication. They’re predicting that 40 percent of all transactions will be between machines, not between machines and people.
Well, some of us humans know where this is going. Still, until our services are no longer required, enterprises will need IT folks in-house to build out and manage IoT networks, infrastructure and data.
The good news is that most enterprises have some lead time to prepare for this IoT wave. The bad news? “Most companies do a very poor job of training people even when they have that lead time. They’re not good at identifying and filling skills gaps with internal candidates,” says Foote.
While he offers no panacea (though it might be coming in Part 3 of the interview), an obvious first step is for enterprise leaders to align their IoT strategy with tangible business goals. This should make it easier to pinpoint the specific skills necessary to launch and manage an IoT implementation.
And trust me. You’ll be doing that soon enough.
Is your enterprise going to have the right skills in place when the IoT tidal wave hits?