Could contractors cash in on IoT windfall?

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A “tremendous” global shortfall in Internet of Things (IoT) professionals could grant contractors access to a multi trillion pound goldmine.

IT company Cisco predicts that 300,000 extra workers will be needed to keep up with increasing demand for ‘smart’ cities and buildings. The firm has already rolled out a series of training programmes to help close the skills gap.

IoT is a development of the internet in which an everyday object has network connectivity – allowing it to send and receive data. This includes everything from coffee makers and washing machines, to jet engines and medical equipment.

Cisco believes that high demand will see the IoT market reach a value of £12.5 trillion by 2020 – with the vast majority of growth coming through the private sector.

Steve Steinhilber, Cisco’s vice president for industry solutions group, said: “One of the big gaps we see in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills. You have people coming from the operations technology space and people coming from the IT space, so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge.”

The shortfall could present an ideal opportunity for contractors to step in and save the day. Freelancers are able to offer businesses short-term access to key skills, and are always on hand to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget.

Demand is already out there, with a separate study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) predicting that cyber security specialists in particular will be extremely sought after.

Have your say

Are you a contractor with IoT experience? Have you noticed an increase in demand for your services? Do you think the market will be as lucrative as Cisco predicts? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.