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4 Skills You Need to Delve Into the Internet of Things

Every industry is finding unique and innovative ways to put the IoT to work. Municipalities are using the IoT to monitor water usage without having to send trucks and workers out to check meters. Oil and gas companies are using the IoT and data integration to optimize production in the field. Trucking companies are using it for better maintenance scheduling with their fleets. Whatever your business’ IoT plans are, there are some skills you need to have to make it work for you. Here are the ones you might not have considered yet.

1. Hardware Development

Connected devices are rarely given access to a power supply. Most have to survive on battery power for indefinite periods of time, while still remaining accessible and productive. That presents certain design challenges, especially in the area of circuit design technology.

Connected devices are rarely given access to a power supply. Most have to survive on battery power for indefinite periods of time, while still remaining accessible and productive. That presents certain design challenges, especially in the area of circuit design technology.

The hardware design is generally the more difficult part of producing IoT devices than developing the software behind it. IoT devices are usually quite small, and designers have to find the right balance between computational power and electrical power consumption. There is almost never an ‘off the shelf’ solution for these circuit designs. While you’re filling your ranks with software developers, don’t overlook the critical aspect of hardware design and development. With the right hardware, software developers can build in mechanisms for data integration. Without it, the device either won’t be powerful enough or won’t have enough battery life to be a productive member of the IoT universe.

2. AutoCAD

Autodesk is the go-to tool for designing for the IoT. This tool has come a long way in just the past couple of years, adding tons of features and functionality that make the design of devices easier and faster. It’s definitely worth investing in some Autodesk training if your workers will be doing much device design work, because a well-trained Autodesk worker can produce results far faster, and the end result is likely to be much better.

3. Machine Learning

Machine learning isn't just one skill. It's a whole set of skills, including software design and programming, data analytics, and data integration.

Machine learning isn’t just one skill. It’s a whole set of skills, including software design and programming, data analytics, and data integration.

Machine learning is what provides the automation and intelligence behind the IoT. Without machine learning, the IoT is just a lot of devices generating a lot of unwieldy data, requiring so much human intervention that the whole thing eventually crashes and burns. With machine learning, the IoT becomes a rich repository of valuable insight and information. Machine learning, however, isn’t just a single set of skills. It’s a mash-up of other skills, including programming, data analytics, data integration, software development, and artificial intelligence, among others. The good news is, there are plenty of free or very affordable online resources available to acquire these skills.

4. Security

For every article that predicts the tremendous success of the IoT, there is another warning of the security risks. The IoT has already seen some scary hacks, which are forecasted to be merely the tip of the iceberg. What happens when medical devices are hacked — like someone’s heartbeat regulator? What happens when someone hacks the refrigeration units of a commercial trucking fleet and ruins a week’s worth of food supplies or medicine? What happens when we’re all riding in driverless vehicles, and someone hacks that? Security is an essential element of the IoT; don’t consider rolling out connected devices without great security personnel on your team.

If your business is looking into taking on the IoT, you’ll need a reliable method of data integration to take advantage of all that data streaming in from your connected devices and other systems. Syncsort can help. Syncsort’s multi-award winning DMX-h data integration software provides organizations with a single interface for accessing and integrating all enterprise data, including IBM z mainframes.

Christy Wilson

Authored by Christy Wilson

Syncsort contributor Christy Wilson began writing for the technology sector in 2011, and has published hundreds of articles related to cloud computing, big data analysis, and related tech topics. Her passion is seeing the fruits of big data analysis realized in practical solutions that benefit businesses, consumers, and society as a whole.
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