The workforce implications of the industrial IoT
Report: Industrial internet of things good for jobs and GDP
There are fears that the rise of the industrial IoT and widespread automation of formerly manual processes will lead to widespread job losses. Not the case, according to a new report from professional services firm Accenture, which projects the industrial IoT will bring about a major transition in the IT workforce as digitalization in various industrial sectors contributes between $10.6 trillion and $14.2 trillion to global GDP by 2030.
Based on a survey, 87% of executive-level respondents said the industrial IoT will “drive long-term job growth.” Accenture specifically calls out high-value sectors, including manufacturing, utilities, mining, energy, transportation. logistics and health care.
Specific to IT professionals, the report authors foresee growth in the IIoT “service sector, home to the software services that will drive tomorrow’s smart industrial equipment, is creating whole new categories of jobs for those in IT. Companies will need technologists to write applications, connect and repair equipment, and integrate the information coursing through machinery, factories and supply chains.”
As vendors work to sell integrated solutions into industrial stakeholders undertake industrial IoT implementations, the report lists three new job functions that will be needed to drive that ecosystem forward. Industrial interests will need “product-service hybrid development” to create and verify new applications; IT professionals, including those with specialization in data analysis, will be needed to operate and manage these new applications; and vendors will need sales and product managers with “engineering knowledge.”
In the report, titled “Why IIoT spells J-O-B-S,” authors Allen Alter and Paul Daugherty conclude: “The industrial internet service sector is good news for IT professionals. Yes, older IT and operational systems will be made obsolete by newer technologies. But the industrial internet of things service sector will provide technology opportunities with companies offering product-service hybrids and digital services, and with the digital businesses that use them.”