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Don’t Let the Scarcity of Skills Kill Your IoT Idea

Increased adoption of automation has killed jobs, a similar quantum of new jobs is immediately produced in other disciplines which are needed for enabling the deployment of the new technologies.

The rise of IoT has also raised concerns over automation replacing manual jobs. While this may be true to some extent, the overarching picture is totally ironic. Lack of employees who are skilled at new technologies and not lack of jobs is the actual fear among hundreds of organizations. Although increased adoption of automation has killed jobs, a similar quantum of new jobs is immediately produced in other disciplines which are needed for enabling the deployment of the new technology.

Therefore, IoT deployment is actually upskilling and empowering more employees to take up high paying roles. An industry that is expected to be worth a trillion USD by 2025 is certainly not eating up jobs and should be fed with more professionals.

However, the issue of businesses losing projects due to unpreparedness should be addressed at first. While it takes a lot of time to produce sufficient expertise in disciplines such as IoT and data science, here’s what the organizations can do to mitigate the risks.

Train your recruiters

While a lot of HR functions require end-to-end rewriting, recruitment is surely a good start. Recruiters are the gateway to quality resources and the fate of your workforce strength is majorly defined at this level. It is essential that they effectively convey the brand’s vision and expertise in IoT.

What to do?

Train your recruiters on the basics of IoT. Educate them about the uniqueness of an IoT landscape wherein engineers from different disciplines collaborate. Organize induction sessions to introduce them to live projects. This will nourish their understanding of the skills and experience to filter potential candidates.

After the training, the recruiters should be able to evaluate the unexplored potential in all applications. Even if a candidate is not fully aware of the IoT landscape, how good their knowledge of sensors could help? Keeping aside the hard skills, the innate zest to learn and the general awareness about the trends in technology should be included in the induction syllabus.

Reach out to Market Places

While training programs take time to shine, companies need a solution to address immediate resource requirements. Given the volatile nature of the IoT industry, organizations haven’t been able to predict the success of a lead. In such events, they need instantaneous help to deploy the resources. As per Immersat Research Program, 47% of projects are outsourced due to a skills shortage.

Over the years many professional sourcing services have come to the rescue of IoT projects. While Upwork provides an easy passage to connect with global IoT professionals, many others that offer online certification programs are also easily reachable.

However, Ioterra has gone a step ahead with its innovative approach. As an online marketplace to find resources, they let project owners handpick certain skill sets across hardware, firmware, mechanical and software development disciplines. Furthermore, it provides sourcing services for components, devices, vendors and business consultants. This makes it one of a kind full-stack IoT sourcing service provider in the market.

What to do?

Check for the available service providers in this space. Shortlist them based on their prior experience in technology and especially IoT. Further, evaluate them based on the quality of resources they have recommended. Also, include IoT courses/certification academies that are open to collaboration.

Outline the scope of skill sets required across the IoT product development landscape including hardware, firmware, software, security, support and business analysis. Based on your product, finalize minimum qualification criteria. Going forward, invite multiple service providers in this space and evaluate them with a real-time project requirement. If any of these provide a full-stack resource supply, bring them on board as associate resource partners. While you get to focus on core areas, the service provider’s expertise will eliminate the overhead cost and hassle.

Employee Upskilling

Every new technology is a reminder to retrain employees. In fact, upskilling is the greatest hack to survive and grow in the ever-evolving IT business. Regarding IoT, 75% of projects (Gartner) take double the usual time and effort because of a skills shortage.

Candidates, those who own a penchant to learn newer technologies will embrace the change positively. Since IoT skills are still far from readily available, recruitment may not produce the numbers as needed.

What to Do?

Mandate upskilling at the employee and the budget level. Instead of making an occasional event out of it, training should be a part of the routine and a dedicated budget (better if a department) is allocated. Moreover, don’t wait for a project to land and keep the training calendar rolling. Organize cross-functional training sessions for hardware engineering, electrical and software teams.

Imagine besides enhancing your IoT readiness quotient, upskilling will also produce an intellectually smarter workforce. Many global companies such as AT&T, Cisco and Siemens have benefitted from such programs.

Don’t Stop

This is not the time to leave out of disappointment. Lack of resource shortage is an obvious issue attached to new technologies and IoT is no different. Rather, keep nourishing your skills at different levels and wait for the right opportunity. It is a slow yet steady journey and those who start early will certainly scale to the top.

Written By

I am an Entrepreneur who co-founded Mobodexter and Hurify groups, a technology disrupter, influencer and board member on Blockchain & Smart City projects worldwide.

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