2013
10.30

Are You Prepared for “Talent War” in M2M?

Who knew the coming rise of the machines would ultimately have the greatest impact on us humans? Two significant pieces of news emerged this week that address a necessary talent pool of workers to bring the coming Internet of Things to life.

A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit titled ‘The Internet of Things Business Index’ offered up some interesting perspective on the percentage of organizations that are currently using and/or planning to incorporate IoT (or M2M) into their business models. You can check out the numbers in the report—but the area I want to focus in on is the thought raised in the report, which was sponsored by ARM, that the talent pool of workers will need to acquire more specific IoT-related skills in order for the next stage of development to really take shape.

The report even cites this lack of IoT skills and knowledge among employees and management as the biggest obstacle to companies embracing IoT on a broader scale.

It’s an interesting point and one I think does not get enough attention. The fact of the matter is when we begin talking about all the data that will need to be interpreted, analyzed, and acted upon, there comes a point where the machines simply cannot do it—nor do you want them to. There will be a definitive need for workers who possess specific IoT (M2M) related skillsets. And by and large, I am not too certain the current talent pool is very deep with the right set of skills to take this all to the next level. But hopefully that will change.

As the report suggest, organizations are currently going about addressing this need in a variety of ways: training current staff, recruiting IoT talent, or hiring third-party experts. It all raises the potential for what the report calls ‘IoT talent wars.’ And for those who feared the coming age of IoT would mean less jobs, here is some evidence to the contrary. In fact, you might need to reevaluate the way you are looking at talent going forward.

In a related note, this week Cisco announced its global commitment to educate and empower current and future generations of what it calls ‘IoT entrepreneurs, scientists, and innovators.’ In its news release, Cisco cites a study published by World Bank that says the information and communication technologies sector has become an addressable market of $800 billion globally and that in the coming decade, there will be two million unfilled ICT-related jobs globally. This, according to the report, would correlate with a projected talent gap of 8.2% by 2022.

This is where Cisco is looking to capitalize. The company cites an interesting stat in its release that says education and training institutions will need to increase the number of technical graduates 222,000 more each year between 2014 and 2022. In a word, let me say: Wow!

You can read all the details here, but it goes to show that on a broader scale we should be thinking about the human aspect of IoT (M2M) going forward. Big data means big business, and where else is more data coming from these days than from sensors and other connected “things” around the globe?

 I agree with the observation from The Economist that this could eventually turn into a “talent war” for companies looking to recruit the best of the best in the world of IoT (M2M). Now it’s up the powers that be to ensure the talent pool comes equipped with the right skillset to compete. This will all definitely be interesting to watch.

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