According to recent research, more than a third of energy companies lack the skills they need to successfully deploy IoT technology.
Technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, in a study commissioned by satellite communications provider Inmarsat, reports that the energy sector could be facing a major obstacle to IoT innovation due to a skills gap.
More than a third of the companies polled in the survey said they have trouble finding qualified people in the fields of data security, analytical data science and technical support. Vanson Bourne found that the level of unpreparedness for IoT innovation among the energy sector companies surveyed was high despite the fact that 88 percent of them are planning IoT applications and deployments.
“Whether they work with fossil fuels or renewables, IoT offers energy companies the potential to streamline their processes and reduce costs in previously unimagined ways. Smart sensors, for example, can facilitate the collection of information at every stage of production, enabling them to acquire a higher level of intelligence on how their operations are functioning and to therefore work smarter, more productively and more competitively,” said Chuck Moseley, senior director for energy at Inmarsat Enterprise.
Where the IoT skills gap is widest
For report on the energy sector, Vanson Bourne surveyed executives from 100 international energy companies (along with executive from the agritech, mining and transport industries — see chart below). They found that 35 percent of energy leaders believe they don’t have the management skills needed to fully use IoT, and 43 percent said they had a skills shortage at the delivery level. The skills gap was widest in the areas of security (54 percent) and tech support (49 percent). Analytic and data sciences are also in high demand.
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“Energy companies who currently lack these capabilities in-house will find themselves in a heated recruitment battle for this talent, with Silicon Valley, in particular, offering an attractive alternative,” added Mosely. “There are undoubtedly steps that energy companies can and should take to upskill their staff and attract fresh talent with the appropriate skills, but the growing demand in the market for these skills means that bottlenecks will be hard to avoid altogether.”