10 crucial skill sets for smart buildings and IoT

April 8, 2020
The latest installment of Osram's 'Digital Systems Blog' describes ten new skill sets required to support the burgeoning transition to smart buildings and IoT.

"Smart building technology is shaping the future of commercial real estate," contends the latest installment of Osram's Digital Systems Blog.

Osram observes that today's 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."  

The blog goes on to note how "there are more than 13,900 positions [currently] 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."

"In addition, traditional jobs will evolve and require new skills," adds the blog, which notes: "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." 

Per Osram, ten new skill sets now required to support the burgeoning transition to smart buildings and IoT, are as follows:

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."

The blog observes that, according to Bain, the combined markets for IoT hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecom services will grow to a whopping $520 billion by 2021.

Read the full blog.

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