IT Brief Africa - Survey shows global skills shortage threatening development of IoT

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Survey shows global skills shortage threatening development of IoT

Inmarsat has revealed the world currently has a significant Internet of Things (IoT) skills shortage.

‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise - 2017’ report interviewed 500 senior IT decision makers from major organisations  across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions to determine the level of IoT preparedness around the world.

The verdict? A ‘significant proportion’ of global enterprises risk jeoporadising the success of their IoT deployments and security of their data because of a lack of IoT skills ad different levels in their organisations.

More than three quarters reported needing additional staff at a senior, strategic level with the skills to set the objectives and priorities for IoT deployments. Furthermore, an additional 72 percent identified a shortage of staff with management-level experience of IoT deployments, and a whopping 80 percent lacked skills in the hands-on delivery of IoT solutions.

According to Inmarsat, the shortage of staff with IoT-focused skills extends to specific technical disciplines, with:

  • 60 percent saying they required additional staff experienced in cybersecurity to handle the vast quantities of data
  • 46 percent identifying a deficit of staff with experience in analytics and data science
  • 48 percent lacking the technical support skills needed to make their IoT projects successful

President of the Inmarsat Enterprise Business Unit, Paul Gudonis says there is a clear acknowledgement from organisations within all industries that IoT is set to play a crucial role in digital transformation and their ability to achieve competitive advantage.

“But for that to happen businesses need to have the correct skill sets in place, and, as our research demonstrates, many currently find themselves without the skilled staff required for this transformation, and unable to take advantage of the potential that IoT solutions offer,” Gudonis says.

“Unless this skills deficit is properly addressed, there’s a risk that IoT projects will fail and that businesses will open themselves up to new security threats, putting an unwelcome brake on innovation.”

When it comes to just how enterprises can prepare themselves for the rush of IoT, Gudonis says the time to act is now.

“As the potential value of IoT solutions becomes more apparent, deployment rates are expected to surge, placing yet further pressure on the pool of staff with the skills needed to make IoT projects successful. Enterprises must therefore move quickly to upskill their existing staff and fill the gaps in their internal skillsets with new hires,” says Gudonis.

“But longer term, the focus needs to be on establishing strategic partnerships with IoT specialists. With economies of scale on their side, specialist partners can help businesses overcome their skills bottlenecks and make their IoT deployments successful.”

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