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Skills shortage puts IoT projects at risk

Skills shortage puts IoT projects at risk

This could put an unwelcome brake on innovation, reports Inmarsat.

60 per cent of respondents need additional staff experienced in cybersecurity to handle the vast quantities of data that IoT solutions generate

A new survey notes a significant proportion of global enterprises lack IoT (Internet of Things) skills at different levels in their organisations, as well as in key technical areas.

This shortage risks jeopardising the success of their IoT deployments and the security of their data, says Inmarsat in the The Future of IoT in Enterprise 2017 report.

Inmarsat says market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed for the report 500 senior IT decision makers from major organisations across the Americas, EMEA and the APAC regions.

The survey finds 76 per cent of respondents reported they needed additional staff at a senior, strategic level with the skills to set the objectives and priorities for IoT deployments.

Moreover, 72 per cent of respondents identified a shortage of staff with management-level experience of IoT deployments, and 80 per cent lacked skills in the hands-on delivery of IoT solutions.

The shortage of staff with IoT-focused skills extends to specific technical disciplines, according to Inmarsat.

For instance, 60 per cent of respondents reported they need additional staff experienced in cybersecurity to handle the vast quantities of data that IoT solutions generate; 46 per cent identified a deficit of staff with experience in analytics and data science; and around half (48 per cent) lacked the technical support skills needed to make their IoT projects successful.

“There is a clear recognition by organisations from all industries that IoT will play a fundamental role in their digital transformation and in their ability to achieve competitive advantage,” says Paul Gudonis, president, Inmarsat Enterprise Business Unit.

“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,” says Gudonis, in a statement.

“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.”

“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.”

He calls on enterprises to move quickly to upskill existing staff and fill the gaps in their internal skillsets with new hires.

Longer-term, he says, enterprises can also focus on establishing strategic partnerships with IoT specialists.

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