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Primary hurdles for IoT companies in recruiting talent/leadership and aligning culture

Aravind Selvaragavan / 30 Dec 2018 / IOT Talents | IOT Recruitment

Internet of Things, the 4th Industrial revolution is a chance for humanity to move beyond the past technologies and to unlock new values, insights and opportunities for the new digital world. The influx of IoT devices will leads to redefining all industries again, the revolution. IoT effects in different industrial adoptions and changes which leads to increase in market value of $267 billion by 2020 with potential economic impact of as high as $6.2 trillion by 2025. However, as companies attempt to respond to this digital transformation by adopting IoT, almost for nearly three-quarters of their effort ends in failure or loss which affects the organization growth. 

Simon Segars, CEO at ARM Holdings says, “The promise is great, but it does need a lot of skills from different disciplines to actually come together to make it a reality“.

"When it comes to the Internet of Things, the business community is still overcoming a significant skills gap" said Mike Bell, EVP of IoT and devices at Canonical. "Many businesses are concerned by their own lack of knowledge and skills within the IoT market”. “Many business leaders are finding themselves running head first into a set of technology and business challenges that they do not yet fully understand”, he said. 

Lack of talent and skills continue to be the biggest barrier to the enterprise IoT deployments. 

Even the IoT talent availability is deficient, the IoT deployments is continue to be progressive. For that fact, U.K. chip maker ARM estimates the existence of one trillion IoT devices by 2035, adding $5 trillion to the global GDP.

The need for new skills in our interconnected world is as great as the opportunities before us. The lack of expertise could be one of the key reasons why enterprise IoT deployment is so low. In a survey of decision makers, 16 percent said their company had a comprehensive roadmap for IoT, with most taking a “wait and see” approach to the technology.

The Internet of Things Talent Consortium (IOTTC), an industry-wide initiative focused on building and growing IoT talent, recently surveyed more than 1,500 senior executives, asking them about impediments to success in digital transformation; 50% identified lack of digital expertise and skills as a top barrier. Further, the world’s largest CIO survey conducted by the Gartner Group, showed that 66% of CIOs believe that demand for talent will outpace supply by 5X through 2021. As new possibilities continue to arise from IoT, the need for talent will continue to outpace the current supply, and organizations will need to play an active role in building the talent pipeline.

”The technology in IoT is changing rapidly, and this means that employees must be more flexible than ever in their ability to adapt, learn and grow." 

Organizations need to get the message out to the software community – that groundbreaking opportunities are gathering pace in organizations leading industrial innovation. Executives from various  manufacturing industries are realizing that their employees need to be reskilled and the importance of credible learning providers to help develop talent from within. They also much worry about sourcing candidates with the right skills and are keen to understand which certifications and trainings matter most.

Acquisition or development of the necessary skills and talent at the individual level addresses only part of equation. Any companies should focus to address the organizational-level constructs including culture, alignment and leadership. The underlying reasons for these failures are as wide ranging as their effects and include organizational level challenges as well as employee-level concerns. Organizational culture will be a key factor in attracting and retaining sought-after talent, especially when seeking leaders from other industries and dynamic startup environments. Realizing the demand of IoT talent, companies need to have right plan on seeking talent in unconventional places. For long-term success, organizations should have clear strategy and process in place for hiring their talent. Employer’s job is to understand the new future for industrial companies and to bring career opportunities to people who are game changers.

It is clear that becoming a digital leader is not simply a matter of technological savvy. Preparing for IoT and broader digital transformation requires a strategic approach that carefully considers human capital and broader organizational transformation. At the core—IoT is not a technology, it's a mechanism to transform business and a leadership opportunity. Organizations must consider two separate dimensions : learning and organizational transformation to run their IoT business seamlessly. To retain existing talent and attract new talent, care must also be taken to address organizational-level paradigms. Above all, business must be agile when it comes to deciding on the ‘right’ people, skills and team to take them forward. What is decided upon today, is unlikely to remain the same in even one or two years, so constantly evaluating what change is needed and being able to execute this quickly is a must. However, when implemented appropriately, real business value can be extracted from Internet of Things data. 

IoT is expected to become even more valuable as the cost of devices and components falls dramatically, similar to the decline in processors and other computer costs leading to the proliferation of PCs at home and in the workplace.

Employers and Managers should understood the fact that strategy, not technology derive the complete IoT transformation. Companies should learn creative ways to build talent platform to solve the problem they focus on. IoT desired talents out there might be scarce, but ideas to develop and leverage what’s out there is not. Some of the ways are,

  1. Making good relationships with educational institutions for more internships and junior        hires and research partnerships focused on key IoT industry capabilities.
  2. Tech acquisitions of small IoT tech companies as a way of capturing talent.
  3. Reaching already available software engineers who are ready to make transition to IoT industry by providing sufficient information such as certifications and courses.
  4. Communicate a compelling vision to potential candidates. Initially, much thought needs to be put into how to explain the industry and market dynamics along with the unique vision, value proposition and competitive advantage of the organization.

IoT needs special breed of multidisciplinary professionals like Developer with business acumen and Business Analyst with technical skills. Basically IoT industry needs people who want to solve business problems, so employers should see this trait in their talents.

To get around that skills gap, businesses can simplify the technologies that underpin IoT deployments and invest in training their existing IT staff, according to industry experts.
Business will need engineers who know how to connect, deploy, manage, analyze and secure. Learn how your organization can create and grow the workforce needed to drive IoT-enabled digital transformation in every sector.

Instead of bemoaning the fact that candidates are unimpressed by your traditional methods of recruitment, you can use their obsession with technology to keep one step ahead of the game. Its strongly recommended to connect with social networks as your future talents presence is huge there. In recent days, social media network has become one of the unavoidable way to recruit talents. This kind of talent cannot only be acquired, it needs to be grown.

Organizational transformation requires a new kind of leadership, new types of intelligence, changes in communication methods, enhanced stakeholder alignment, refined organizational structures and a robust strategy. When saying leadership, it is about how to integrate people with different skills, work styles and expectations to achieve success in a new-style industrial company.

Developing and implementing this kind of change requires leaders and teams with a vast
array of skills. Some of these include :

  • Strategic vision and ability to communicate the potential of IoT
  • An appetite for risk, agility and stamina
  • Data analytics, IT development and security expertise
  • Ability to work across silos
  • Customer orientation

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