Companies concerned about IoT skill shortage

A recent report indicates that many companies are worried that their staff lack the skills and understanding to use the Internet of Things (IoT).
By Nicholas Fearn August 25, 2016

According to a report by Capita Technology Solutions and Cisco, companies and information technology (IT) managers fear that their staff lack the skills and understanding to be able to use new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT). The report says technology is currently evolving at a ‘relentless pace’, with new innovations and trends emerging onto the scene, and many of them have the potential to revolutionize the world of business.

Big disconnects

The report found there’s often a disconnect been technological vision and the realistic prospect of implementation. There’s also a clear gap between the relevance of trends—particularly IoT, the cloud, and big data—and identifying opportunities.

One key trend in the report is IoT and the data it creates. Despite 90% of businesses believing that big data is a relevant trend, only 39% are actually implementing strategies.

Lack of IoT skills

While 70% of respondents said they found IoT relevant, a staggering 71% are struggling on the skills side of things. IT decision-makers are worried that staff just don’t have the skills to use the tech and identify growth opportunities.

Connected devices create a lot of data, and firms are struggling to make sense of it all. Eighty percent said they don’t have the skills to capitalize on IoT data, citing many barriers to full-scale adoption. These include security and data governance risks.

IoT security concerns

Security—whether it be hackers targeting firms for access to lucrative data or simply ensuring information isn’t leaked—is a major challenge. Just under a third of the businesses that took part in the report said it’s the biggest challenge to using IoT.

Artificial intelligence is a major area of interest for business, too. Fifty percent of businesses said AI is relevant to their industry, while wearable technology was at 46%. And 16% still don’t see potential in cloud tech.

Businesses are "bombarded"

Adam Jarvis, CEO of CTS, wrote in the report: "CT decision makers across all industries today are operating in an environment where they are regularly bombarded with the latest technological trend, accompanied by the promise that it could transform business operation for the future.

"Cutting through the hype surrounding each new piece of tech can be a challenge, with each new tool being touted as the next big game changer for businesses across the board. But there is no doubt that some emerging technologies do have the potential to completely transform not just the way we work but our society as a whole.

"This new report… highlights how businesses perceive those trends: which of the current emerging technologies they believe truly offer the opportunity to get ahead of the competition, and which of them are they willing—and able—to adopt," Jarvis said.

Nicholas Fearn is editor at Internet of Business, which is hosting the Internet of Manufacturing Conference November 1-2, 2016, in ChicagoInternet of Business is a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared here. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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