The Internet of Everything (IoE) is having an enormous impact on business. This phenomenon is completely reinventing the way businesses operate. It is bringing productivity and competitiveness to higher levels along with opening up many doors to new and exciting opportunities. Companies that are more recently harnessing the power of IoE are excited to realize that it will impact their overall business strategy, not just their technology.
When it comes to IoE, it is important to think transformationally in order to understand what the connected devices involved will be and what business opportunities they will create. A major change to the tech job landscape is just one big aspect of these new business opportunities materializing. In fact, 86% of 1,400 business leaders surveyed by Accenture think that the industrial Internet of Everything will be a net creator of jobs. As IoE takes center stage, a host of new jobs will be created and current roles will be re-defined. It is my belief that IoE will create a major revolution in the way we work, dramatically changing jobs at different levels within the enterprise.
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The Technology of IoE
Before we delve into the impact IoE will have on enterprise jobs, we first must familiarize ourselves with exactly what IoE is. IoE expands on the concept of the “Internet of Things” in that it connects not just physical devices but quite literally everything by getting them all on the network. It moves beyond being a major buzzword and technology trend by connecting devices to one another and the Internet, and offers higher computing power. This connection goes beyond basic M2M communications, and it is the interconnection of devices that leads to automation and advanced “smart” applications. IoE works to connect more devices onto the network, stretching out the edges of the network and expanding the roster of what can be connected. IoE has a major play in all industries, from retail to telecommunications to banking and financial services.
The Demands of IoE
IoE does put quite a few demands on the network that have not previously been there in order to be implemented correctly and maximize business potential. Decisions must be made from both a technology and enterprise side – the team implementing the on-the-ground technology must be very candid with what will be needed from the business side, such as extra funding, additional staff, planned network downtime or limited access. The management of the IoE implementation process and the demands placed on network administrators alone opens up the possibility of more Technology Implementation Manager roles. These Technology Implementation Managers would act as the liaison between the IT team and the C-Suite, and will provide education on what options are out there for IoE implementation, conduct vendor and partner research and handle the Requests for Proposals and make sure the business goals and initiatives for IoE implementation are outlined, with a detailed plan of how they will be met. Once the project is off the ground and the vendor is brought on board, this manager will be the day-to-day contact for the vendor and will also their role as the liaison between IT and the C-Suite.
Impact on the Systems Administrator
IoE will have a very real impact on jobs at every level. Entry-level employees are entering the workforce at a great time, as they are better able to adapt to changing industry standards and expectations. They also came of age with the Internet, which changes their relationship with connected devices. They are used to having information they need right at their fingertips and rely more heavily on electronics to provide them with the information they are looking for. Coming in at an entry level, they may have even taken courses on Open Source or IoE, and be able to use this knowledge and skill set in their day-to-day tasks. For IT professionals of this level, IoE will mean that the boundaries of the network and system will expand and shift, and System Administrators will need to keep up with these shifts and have tricks in their toolbox to accommodate those before they move up to impact other levels of the network. The increases in devices on the network will place tons of strain on the network and create the need for increased bandwidth. It will also mean that Systems Administrators will no longer just be in charge of the network – they will have to be prepared to manage the connectivity of actual devices, while being prepared to manage the edges of the networks first, working their way in.
Impact on the C-Suite
IoE will drastically change the way companies do business for the better. For members of the C-Suite, especially the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Innovations Officer, IoE will cause them to be on the lookout for additional opportunities it will create. For example, the COO must have a deep understand of what needs to be changed from an operational standpoint for IoE to be successfully integrated into day-to-day business. The COO must look at ways in which IoE will have the most impact specific to the company and industry – should IoE mainly be used to boost the customer experience, or the sales team? How disruptive will connected devices be, does there need to be a campaign around the benefits of disruption? For the Chief Financial Officer, IoE will be all about return on investment. They must ask themselves how the revenue model will change with IoE introduced and incorporated, and whether or not funding streams need to be altered and the extent to which board members must have buy-in.
Impact on Overall Job Growth
It is no secret that IoE will have an immensely positive impact on the overall job creation and growth in many industries. The Jobs Report for December 2014 reported that 252,000 US jobs were created in December alone, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%. IoE will only add to these numbers, as it will require companies to grow and expand their skill-set to hire professionals who possess the skills needed to properly implement the technology. All of this job growth will also boost the gross domestic product of twenty of the world’s largest economies by 2030 by an additional $14 trillion. IoE will also open the doors for more corporate training sessions, creating an additional set of jobs – IoE trainers. And, in order for IoE to be implemented, we can expect to see IoE-specific engineers, IT personnel and the creation of entire vendors that are just focused on advancing IoE.
IoE is shifting the industry, both from a technology standpoint and within the enterprise. It is not just creating more robust and innovative technologies, it is also creating an entirely new field of jobs that have never been seen before. It is opening up doors for even more job development and growth in technology fields in all industries, and is allowing for the cross-pollination of the C-Suite and IT teams.
Dan T. Pickett is Chairman and CEO of nfrastructure.
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