IoT Industry Doubling | Recruiting Clues In Expanding Market

IoT or Internet of Things field and recruiting is expanding making recruitment of engineer, scientist, IT, technical or manufacturing jobs more difficult
Both the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and recruiting are growing by leaps and bounds causing personnel shortages in the existing marketplace. Constantly recruiting for future needs and addressing barriers to adoption are two keys to ultimate success. To make gains, IoT leaders must address three universal themes.

IoT Market to Double by 2021

Bain & Company expects the combined markets for IoT to grow to $520 billion by 2021. This includes hardware, software, systems integration, data and telecom services. That figure is more than double the $235 billion spent in 2017 with the majority projected to be captured by enterprise and industrial segments.

Bain & Company’s latest report, Unlocking Opportunities in the Internet of Things, includes results from a 2018 survey of more than 600 executives. The report found enterprise customers still remain bullish on IoT.

The customers are still running more proofs of concept than they were two years ago. Additionally, more customers are considering exploring new use cases: 60 percent in 2018 compared with fewer than 40 percent in 2016.

Engineering Shortage Further Constrained by IoT Growth

The growth of IoT will further expand current shortage of engineers, scientists and key technical talent. This is on top of an already limited supply of engineering, scientific, IT (information technology), R&D (research and development), technical and manufacturing technology talent as I shared on a radio appearance on WBBM News Radio 780, a CBS Radio affiliate.

Be Constantly Recruiting

During this media appearance I cited a need for a more aggressive, pro-active recruiting approach due to our current ‘War for Talent’. As a result, I have prepared my 12 Commandments of Recruiting to assist you.

In particular my 8th Commandment of Recruiting counsels you to not wait for a job opening but to constantly seek out talent. Attend trade shows and industry events to build your staffing network are examples. Adding an internal or external recruiter to uncover and evaluate key staffing prospects are other means.

Then keep in touch with this talent and build a potential employee database. Then when you have a job opening these recruits may be available to meet your staffing needs. Remember to constantly recruit.

Many Potential IoT Recruiters Worried About Adoption

Unfortunately, many enterprise customers say they are tempering their expectations about the pace of IoT adoption. They realize that complete solutions may take longer to implement to yield the expected return.
In response, while they would like to go faster, they are planning less extensive IoT implementations by 2020 than they had planned just two years ago.

IoT vendors seeking to tap into this pent-up demand must better address barriers to adoption. They must provide more consumable solutions and ease concerns about integration with existing information technology and operational systems.

Influential Vendors

Along with analytics and infrastructure software vendors, cloud service providers (CSPs), particularly Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, have emerged as more prominent and influential vendors in the space.
CSPs are lowering barriers to IoT adoption. They are allowing for simpler implementations and making it easier to adopt selected use cases and scale up quickly. They are also leveraging their deep expertise in analytics to expand across IoT battlegrounds and to fortify their positions in the analytics and cloud battleground for enterprise and industrial customers.

However, their broad horizontal services provide little optimization for industry-specific applications. This is leaving a significant opportunity for industry solutions from systems integrators, application developers, industry IoT platform specialists, device makers and telcos. This pent-up demand represents a huge opportunity for technology providers that can meet customer needs.

Our survey found that vendors are aligned with customers’ concerns about some barriers, such as security, returns on investment, but less so on others – notably integration, interoperability and data portability,” according to Ann Bosche, a partner in Bain & Company’s global Technology Practice and an IoT expert.“Based on our experience with previous technology cycles, the key to addressing these concerns lies in focusing on fewer industries in order to learn what customers really want and need to ease adoption.”

Barriers to IoT Adoption

Since Bain & Company’s last extensive survey in 2016 on IoT and analytics, customers believe that vendors have made little progress on lowering the three most significant barriers to IoT adoption:
• Security. Recent Bain & Company research finds that enterprise customers would buy more IoT devices and pay more (about +22% on average) for them if their security concerns were addressed.
• Integration with existing technology. Vendors have not made it easy for customers to integrate their IoT solutions into business processes or information technology and operational systems. They may thus be underestimating their customers’ concerns. Vendors will be able to offer more complete end-to-end solutions if they invest in learning more about typical implementation challenges in their customers’ industries.
• Uncertain returns on investment rounds out the top three concerns among survey respondents. This is primarily due to the heavy investment required to stand up each solution given the amount of customization currently required.

Three Universal Themes for IoT Vendors

Bain & Company has identified three universal themes necessary for IoT leaders to continue to make gains:
• 1. Focus on getting a few industries and use cases right. Industry pre-customization and better “out of the box” packaging are emerging as keys for success. More than 80% of vendors still target four to six industries—too many to build depth in any particular use case rapidly.
Leading vendors are targeting their solutions to fewer industries than before, focusing on two or three domains. This allows vendors to incorporate significant industry expertise, providing a competitive edge against more generic offers.

• 2. Offer end-to-end solutions to ease adoption. Many IoT deployments require customization, usually based on industry application. More than 60 percent of customers say the solutions they buy are more than 25 percent customized.
As vendors develop cost-effective, well integrated, end-to-end packages with their own producers and partners they gain experience implementing IoT solutions for specific use cases. This is something for which buyers have been clamoring.

• 3. Prepare to scale by removing barriers to adoption. Leading IoT vendors address their customers’ concerns – security, integration and returns on investment – by baking them into well integrated and use-case specific solutions. This enables them to deliver cost-effective IoT solutions that can scale.

The next few years will be critical to the development of IoT markets as leaders continue to make gains and expand their industry-specific offers,” said Michael Schallehn, a partner in Bain & Company’s global Technology Practice and an IoT expert.

Incumbents that fail to move quickly enough to address customers’ needs are likely to get leapfrogged by more nimble competitors. We think device makers, in particular, run the risk of seeing software and analytics competitors capture the value of solutions, leaving them to deliver lower-profitability hardware components.”

Of Interest

Internet of Things was first coined by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer. Ashton cofounded the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which created a global standard system for RFID and other sensors He first used the term IoT to describe a system where the Internet is connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors.

Engineering, technical, R&D recruiting experts

20 Responses

  1. IoT, the Internet of Things, low cost sensors, software defined antennas, Moore’s Law and indoor navigation technologies have dramatically enhanced the payback and power of Real Time Location Systems.

    IMAGINE … you work in a world where you know where everything is. Your products. Your materials. Your assets. Your people. Nothing gets lost. You have 100% visibility. How would that change your organization? How much less would you need to stock because you know exactly what you have? How many man-hours would you save because workers are wasting time searching for items? How could your processes be improved because you know who moved what item where and when?

  2. Nice article that captures what we have seen with our own IoT implementations. Making the technology work seamlessly is certainly one challenge. That which consumes more of my thoughts is monetization. Does the IoT project provide value to a customer? Is the value enough for someone to pay for it? Or, does it make our solution attractive enough to afford the cost? I attempt to avoid IoT projects where the primary value is in having the letters IoT attached to a product; and little value in the IoT function.

  3. Well stated opener to a vast topic…

    IoT and its software adapters for all hardware will be an ongoing process for both today and the innovation of tomorrow. Hopefully, all sectors of business will evolve to assemble people beyond buzz words accordingly during the recruitment stages as conversations not hasty generalizations from whomever, wherever and or whatever should dominate.


  4. I am a contractor for a global business services firm and your points in this article are right on. If they can get the security thing down as you note, IoT will be the next revolution in business, manufacturing and in in the home. It’s already happening.

  5. Very well written, Scott.
    I have been part of this journey for past few years and you have identified very relevant issues that need to be addressed. Its still a developing landscape and therefore multiple entities are natural. I think constant collaboration is key to success, whether you are hiring or developing a solution.

  6. MG,
    I greatly appreciate your contributions. Please let me know when I can be of help with any of your recruiting needs.

    Thanks again,


  7. Lee,
    I greatly appreciate your sharing your comments on my blog post. Please let know when I can be of help to you with your recruitment efforts?

    Thanks again,


  8. Robert,
    I greatly appreciate your insightful comments on my blog. Please let me know when I can be of help to your staffing efforts.

    Thanks again,


  9. Scott this is definitely a solid article which captures in my view the essentials of seeking out IoT focused talent. What concerns me the most about the current IoT “mania” is not driven by recruiters themselves but by the employers and clients seeking their services.

    While there are discrete skill sets associated with IoT just as there have been with Could, Big Data, M2M, Analytics and other technical disciplines that have been in vogue many of the skills (coders, developers, architects, etc.) are highly adaptable to this new focus. I would hope in chasing this latest Big Thing that employers from startups to Global 1000 would first look at the capabilities within their own current workforce and leverage these organically thorough lateral or even upward career mobility before rushing out to pull in a rush of external candidates that may lack the customer, product and institutional knowledge that may be as much if not more critical to onward success than being a “black belt” in IoT.

  10. David,
    I greatly appreciate your kind words and wonderful thoughts on my IoT article. Please feel free to subscribe to my blog and contribute as much as you like in the future.

    Thanks again,


  11. Yes, Scott. It’s a perfect storm hiring challenge. With IoT growing as you indicate and the job market already hot, it’s a challenging time to find the right talent.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your insight.


  12. Scott,

    This is a great article. Integration between various platforms will be a greater challenge.

    Thanks …

  13. Buddhika,
    I greatly appreciate your insights on my electrical engineering article. Only the best.

    Thanks again,


  14. Mike,
    I greatly appreciate your kind words on my IoT or Internet of Things article. Only the best to you and your family!


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