What new job roles is the Internet of Things creating?

Posted on 11 Aug 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The Internet of Things is providing manufacturers with a whole new platform upon which to build new business models. However, most businesses are struggling to find the necessary talent to take advantage of it, a new study has revealed.

IoT Internet of Things
Currently, 50% of the cost of implementing IoT projects goes to integration.

With a current market valuation of more than $900bn, both manufacturers and those looking to adopt IoT technologies are aware of the current lack of IoT talents.

But, in trying to leverage this potential, many businesses are still grappling with how IoT can benefit their business and the best approach to get started with their IoT initiative.

New research from Canonical explored the views, opinions and experiences of more than 360 IoT professionals regarding past, present and future IoT projects.

The research revealed that more than two-thirds (68%) of IoT professionals are struggling to hire employees with IoT skills, with the hardest skill to hire being Data Analytics and Big Data (according to 35%) – a skill critical to gathering, analysing, and potentially monetising the vast amounts of data being produced by connected devices.

It’s not just cloud development talents that are required. When asked what skills they deemed necessary to be an IoT expert, after data analytics (at 75%) software development skills were found to be the most needed skill (according to 71% of IoT professionals).

Mike Bell, EVP of IoT and Devices at Canonical, explained: “When it comes to the internet of things, the business community is still overcoming a significant skills gap. Many businesses are concerned by their own lack of knowledge and skills within the IoT market and many business leaders are finding themselves running head first into a set of technology and business challenges that they do not yet fully understand.”

What are the IoT jobs of the future?

  • The CIoTO
  • The IoT Business Designer – the individual responsible for determining unexplored business models and processes is likely to command a premium
  • ‘Fuller stack’ developers – increasingly employers will value developers that can offer everything from UX to cloud skills, and everything in between

Also, there is an increasing demand for positions such as:

  • IoT Architects – compensating for the increasing architectural complexity of IoT stacks
  • Data designers/data scientists – looking to extract value from huge amounts of data generated by IoT devices
  • Chief Data Officers – the need of ready access to data access will increase concomitantly with increased data volumes overall
  • Machine Learning Specialists
  • Security Consultants
  • Mechatronics Engineers – for developing human/physical machine interactions

Fixed costs become too prohibitive especially for those in the early adoption stage of IoT where the value and ROI to be derived is still questionable or has not had chance to prove its full worth.

Therefore, once an organisation has identified the skills they require, consideration needs to be given as to whether some or all of these skills are better outsourced at least in the short term.

In addition to overhead advantages, there is also the benefit of bringing in expertise from individuals, consultancies or system integrators who have significantly more IoT experience to aid the implementation while sharing knowledge throughout the business.