Digital Systems Blog

Ten Skill Sets Needed to Support Smart Buildings IoT

IoT Skill setsThere is no question about it; IoT is rapidly growing. In fact, Bain predicts that the combined markets for IoT hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecom services to grow to a whopping $520 billion by 2021. This new IoT-enabled environment is changing the way most industries operate. One of the biggest challenges facing these industries is hiring new talent that has the skill sets required to operate effectively in this new era.

Smart building technology is shaping the future of commercial real estate. It’s proven to increase efficiencies and reduce costs while boosting productivity, sustainability, safety, and comfort. However, to take advantage of the innovative opportunities enabled by the deployment of IoT technology, new skill sets are required. Hard technical and business skills as well as soft skills are needed. If you work for an organization that offers an IoT solution or an organization that uses an IoT solution - or both - your world is going to change.

If you check out popular job post sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn, you’ll see new titles such as Portfolio Leader IoT, IoT Solutions Sales Manager, IoT Security Engineer, IT/IoT Support Associate, Facilities IoT- Project Manager and more. In fact, there are more than 13,900 positions posted on Indeed that have “IoT” as part of their job title, and many, many more whose job descriptions require candidates to be knowledgeable about network concepts, sensors, analytics and data science, and other areas directly linked to IoT.

Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and it’s only going to grow from there. By 2020, it’s estimated that 1.7 MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth. (Source)

In addition, traditional jobs will evolve and require new skills. For example, a recent job posting at Google as a facilities manager now requires basic knowledge of IT because they will be responsible for driving smart building technologies deployment.

Commercial real estate groups need a combination of IT and technical skills, business analytics, and visionary leadership skills on staff to be competitive in this new smart building environment.

Here are ten new skill sets required to support smart buildings IoT.

  1. Tech Savvy – Even if you are not an engineer or hired into a position that requires technical expertise, it is time to get comfortable with the IoT and gain an understanding of the basics about sensors, cloud, APIs, connectivity and data. Since the premise of this new and evolving environment is that everything is connected, everyone that works in the development and support of a smart building needs a basic level of understanding about IT and networking.
  2. Security – Security is paramount and a huge IoT concern. Everything connected to the internet creates risk. Because a smart building infrastructure connects to the internet, smart buildings are now vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Vulnerability assessment skills, hardware and software security, and data security skills are critical for IoT deployments.
  3. Mobile App Experience – End user IoT applications are moving towards a mobile-first experience meaning most will run primarily on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones.
  4. Networking Expertise – Every sensor is essentially a data node on a network. Everything is connected. Having networking experts available – in-house or remote - helps keep the building running smoothly.
  5. Analytics and Data Science Expertise - An abundance of data is collected through a network of sensors on light, heat, occupancy, energy usage, space utilization and more. Firms need senior-level analysts that are able to make sense of the data. Analyzed data becomes information used to manage, optimize, and automate environmental and operational aspects of a building.
  6. An Understanding of Operations Technology AND Information Technology - IoT is changing the way we do business and how we think about and use technology. Operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) teams have traditionally been separate and siloed organizations. However, the lines between the two seemingly disparate organizations and their respective responsibilities are blurring. For example, occupancy data collected from smart lighting systems are now triggering responses from HVAC systems - IT people who understand both environments will be in great demand. Companies will also need people from the physical plant (OT) side who understand the new IT tools and can explain OT issues to the IT staff.
  7. Teamwork – IoT and connectivity eliminates cross-functional siloes. Employees will need to be comfortable with collaboration, brainstorming and working alongside different backgrounds with different approaches and views.
  8. Business Acumen – Leadership needs to understand and convey the value of data and automation. They need to be able to connect the dots between the data and how it can be used to solve a problem, improve a business outcome, change how a business does something, or how it can address a customer need.
  9. Willingness and Ability to Continually Learn – In this fast evolving environment, people need to keep learning about the latest developments and have a sense of curiosity about how it can help the organization. Laggards will be quickly left behind.
  10. Communications Skills – Strong communication skills with the ability to explain complex concepts or new ideas in different ways - writing, speaking, diagrams, and video - will be critical.

Career Opportunities at Osram

We’re seeking new talent for the future of lighting. Do you have some of the skill set identified above? Do you love developing new ideas and bringing them to fruition? If the answer is ‘yes’, we should get to know each other better. Discover the career paths and positions available at Osram, here.

Learn how Mt. Royal University is testing IoT to optimize space on campus as part of an overall sustainability and efficiency initiative. 

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Topics: Connected Lighting & IoT