Build, Interpret and Protect: 3 Skill Sets Required within IoT
The internet of things (IoT) industry is primed to shape how we function as a society over the next few years. From wearables to telematics to smart homes, businesses and consumers alike are captivated by the technology’s potential. By 2020, there will be 20.4 billion connected products in use, according to a Gartner report.
In order for the industry to reach its full potential, it will require highly skilled and technical staff across disciplines. Not only are people needed to create these technologies, but maintaining them will be a critical job as well. This opens up new opportunities for professionals to ensure they have the skills needed to cash in on this boom.
Engineering — Build The Product
In order for the internet of things to succeed, you need to be able to build the things. In this case, it’s the things and the network that supports the internet connections. These capabilities don’t work in a silo. While strong engineer candidates are sought across industries, if you want to enter IoT, a hybrid approach can help you stand out from the crowd. Hardware engineers need to have some software capabilities, and software engineers will better succeed if they have some hardware skills.
One of the biggest engineering skills in demand in IoT is the ability to make two devices play nicely with one another, which requires a deep understanding of APIs. Consumers want their connected products to work together. This creates a massive opportunity on the back end for developers who have experience building those interfaces.
Cybersecurity — Make It Secure
Everything connected to the internet causes risk. Addressing that risk head-on is not only the right thing for IoT companies to do, it is the smart thing to do to boost customer adoption. Research by Bain & Company reveals that “Enterprise customers would be willing to buy more IoT devices if their concerns about cybersecurity risks were addressed — on average, at least 70% more than what they might buy if their concerns remain unresolved.”
Cybersecurity is another field affected by a deep skills shortage, with 75% of companies admitting they have difficulty attracting qualified candidates, according to a report by the Ponemon Institute and DomainTools.
Data Science — Realize The Value Of Big Data
Data science has been in demand for years now, and IoT is only adding to the need. Once the products are built and secure, the real value of IoT emerges in the form of capturing and analyzing the data. The fourth annual Global Cloud Index Study by Cisco shows that data from devices connected to the internet will reach 403ZB a year by the end of this year, up from 113.4ZB per year in 2013. Yet only a small amount is actually analyzed. Cisco shows the total amount of traffic sent to data centers to grow to 8.6ZB this year, up from 3.1ZB in 2013. Yep, that’s a Z in ZB — a zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes. Professionals who are able to wrangle that data and increase the efficiency of this process will provide the most value to any IoT organization.
Data science skills needed for IoT are similar to other data science roles, with a few key differentiators. Business intelligence (BI) specialists with expertise in sensor data analysis, data center management, predictive analytics and programming stand out as highly desirable skills.
It takes a village to run an IoT company. While the roles listed above certainly aren’t wholly encompassing of the opportunities that the IoT can bring to your career (shout out to all of the business, finance, marketing, HR and other departments that weren’t mentioned here), they are very much in high demand. By boosting your skills in these core areas, you’ll put yourself in prime position to work in IoT today and in the near future.
This is a condensed version of a piece our CEO and co-founder, Brett, recently published on Forbes. Check out the full story here.