Who would not like to have their favorite drink prepared by the time one gets home after a tiring day of work? Or even better, what if one could somehow arrange some of the mundane tasks to be done at a click away, would it not relieve half the stress? The days are not far where we could control objects in real life digitally, this is what the Internet of Things (IoT) tries to achieve and this is understandable why there is a huge hype right now about it. IoT development is growing at a breathtaking pace at the moment; the world spending on IoT is projected to reach $772.5 billion in 2018 as per IDC. According to Gartner, about 20.8 billion devices are expected to be connected by 2020 (approximately three times that of the current seven billion world population). Gartner and Statista estimate an IoT driven semiconductor industry itself to be valued around 45 billion by 2020 due to the need for executing complex tasks via IoT, sensors and therefore semiconductor materials are set to become the centerpiece of this revolution for their need to be smarter and efficient in collecting data.

Shortage of talent despite the opportunities in IoT

Given the enormous capital value IoT promises, there is, however, a severe impediment for this progress and it is present in the form of shortage of relevant IoT skills which can potentially choke the high demand. IoT encompasses a broad area over numerous fields for which a variety of skills comprising data analytics, embedded software development, app development, cloud and etc are indispensable. Since IoT has scope in almost all the fields and is beginning to be adopted into several industries, significant numbers of jobs are expected to be created. According to India’s telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan, 10-15 million jobs are estimated to be created in India alone through IoT. Hence if a country alone is expected to produce such a significant amount of jobs, it would certainly be reasonable to estimate global job creation through IoT to be upwards of 25 million in future.

Source: Burning Glass

Although all these forecasts predict excellent opportunities for businesses relying on IoT and for technology sectors there is a grim side to these numbers that is often overlooked. In a research published by Inmarsat titled ‘The Future of Enterprise in IoT -2017’ conducted by interviewing five hundred respondents involved in IoT based solutions, a startling 47% said there is a lack of necessary skills in IoT and only 20% felt that they had the requisite skills. As a result of the shortage of skills, the research found that organizations are looking towards working in a collaborative manner to fill the skill gaps in IoT to deliver IoT solutions successfully. So it can be easily concluded that any major IoT based development requires coordination and collaboration of developers from a variety of domains.Hence to avoid stifling the IoT driven growth, it is imperative that employers take relevant measures to prevent a potential stagnation in the growth of IoT.

A brief look at the solutions available

Essentially there are two possible solutions to mitigate this shortage of IoT oriented skill set and bring together developers from all niche areas:

  1. A hire and train model

This is undoubtedly an expensive model for companies considering the need for a large allocation of resources. This model requires employers to hire people and train them in specific areas where the employer works. It is essentially a long-term investment until its benefits can be reaped. However, owing to the need for easier skill transferability, flexible skill sets and several others due to the nature of work in the world today characterized by frequent job changes, companies are largely abandoning the practice of hiring and providing training as this Bloomberg article accurately analyzes the reason.

  1. Contractually hiring developers from all over the world through a platform

This model enables a company to hire developers through a platform for specific projects and thereafter pay them through the platform once the contract work is completed. This model is extremely economical and it brings together developers from all over the world with minimum logistical needs.

The way forward with Blockchain Tech

A brief overview of the two solutions makes it evident that contractual hiring is possibly the best solution employers have at hand. Although contractual hiring is not a new phenomenon, in order to be able to access the talent pool from around the world a platform needs to be set up to make that possible.

This is where the innovative Blockchain technology comes into the spotlight. Blockchain enables an environment where employers can create ‘smart contracts’ and utilize it to hire developers from anywhere. Once a contract is established between the parties involved, contracts become smart by their ability to automatically execute functions depending on whether the terms in the contracts are fulfilled or not without third party interferences.

LeewayHertz, Hurify, Techracers are some of the companies that offer solutions in smart contracts based on Ethereum platform.

Hurify, in particular, seeks to specialize in blockchain based contractual hiring; it utilizes the technology to make smart contracts and essentially their whole process revolves around enabling a platform tailored for clients to broadcast the project requirement, look for developers, enter smart contracts and get the projects done. Now that level of simplicity is quite impressive and is essential in tapping the market potential IoT is poised to make as per the forecasts.

The essential take away

IoT is a technology that has enormous potential to make a positive impact on businesses, to increase consumer spending on technology-based products and to transform the industrial practices in several areas in order to improve their efficiencies. Given the challenges involved in integrating various platforms like cloud, edge analytics, software applications and many others together in order to establish a connection between devices, IoT development will certainly be affected by the shortage of relevant skill sets hence collaborative ways of development may be the only possible way forward.