The Internet of Things Touching IT and Non-IT Careers

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    Wherever a growing technology trend appears, jobs and new skill sets follow. With a rapidly burgeoning list of consumer and enterprise products arising from opportunities around Internet of Things (IoT) data collection, preparations for training the existing workforce and predictions of new jobs bear watching. The changes go far beyond the obvious data analysts and data scientists, who have received much attention.

    Job and skill changes related to the growth of the IoT aren’t going to affect only those currently working in IT, according to a piece by Cisco’s Sudarshan Krishnamurthi at Information Age: “Getting prepared for IoE will require the existing workforce, especially in areas such as manufacturing, utilities, safety and security, and transportation, to understand IT networking to a greater degree.”

    Of course, Cisco has a keen interest in IoT opportunities for networking technology and professionals, but that doesn’t make the observation wrong. And as for those in IT, Krishnamurthi continues that systems education will be a two-way effort:

    “At the same time, IT networking professionals need to better understand manufacturing control systems and industrial networks as IoE causes these operational technologies to converge with IT. And lastly, it will be vital for the current generation of students coming out of colleges and universities to have the networking skills that will enable them to address this convergence of operational technologies and IT.”

    A Business News Daily article reminds businesses that customer service will change, and become even more crucial, with IoT. This is true in both consumer- and business-facing environments.

    “Revenue will not come from the hardware, but instead from services on top,” says Avangate’s Raj Badarinath. “In the IoT era, new models such as subscriptions, freemiums and bundles are rapidly becoming the preferred choice over traditional hardware options. Services are easily upgradeable, much more amenable to ecosystems that are constructed around hardware, and provide multiple revenue opportunities rather than a one-time sale.”

    And interactions and experiences must be kept “natural” for customers, says Twilio’s Lynda Smith. That will take “a lot of work.”

    Finally, expect more changes at the top, as well. Executive search and consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles has created an Internet of Things specialty practice, spurred by questions from clients about emerging responsibilities.

    “Organizations are looking for executives to lead emerging functions such as Industrial Internet, Distributed Mobility, Consumer Lifestyle Innovation and Global Digital. These are all roles that relate directly to the interconnected, adaptive-learning power of the Internet of Things,” Global Head of Practices for Heidrick & Struggles Krishnan Rajagopalan said in a release. 


    Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

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