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Study: Energy firms lack skills to successfully deploy IoT

A study commissioned by Inmarsat revealed most energy companies have concrete plans to deploy IoT

New research commissioned by Inmarsat finds that more than a third of energy companies around the world lack the skills they need at both a management and a delivery level to successfully deploy internet of things  (IoT) technology.

The study, which was carried out by research firm Vanson Bourne, revealed that while the majority of energy companies have concrete plans to deploy IoT technologies, a significant proportion lack the skills needed to take advantage of the technology.

Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large energy companies across the globe and found that while 88% expect to deploy IoT technologies within the next two years, many currently lack the skills needed to do so effectively. The survey also showed that 35% of respondents said that they currently lack the management skills to take advantages of IoT, while 43% lack the skills to do so at a delivery level. Also, 53% of respondents said that they would benefit from additional skills at a strategic level to take full advantage of IoT.

The research found that 54% of respondents have a shortage in cyber security personnel and 49% lack skills in technical support, while analytical and data science skills are also in high demand.

“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,” Chuck Moseley, senior director for energy, at Inmarsat Enterprise, said. “But fully realizing these benefits depends on energy companies’ access to appropriately-skilled members of staff and it is clear from our research that there are considerable skills gaps in the sector at all stages of IoT deployment.”

“IoT is set to have a similarly transformative effect on a whole swathe of industries, so it’s likely that the pressure on skills will only increase. 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.”

Moseley also said that energy companies should work with partners to address their IoT skills deficiencies.

Inmarsat Enterprise focuses on the provision of satellite connectivity and IoT solutions for land-based businesses. The firm provides services to a diverse set of sectors including agritech, aid and NGO, energy, media, mining and transport.

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