Internet of Things, or IoT as it is popularly known, has gone on to become one of the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry for 2017. For anything to become a buzzword, three things should be in place — applications, jobs and global recognition. IoT over the last few months has clearly met these criteria. There are uncountable number of IoT applications floating around in the world. Consequently, jobs are mushrooming and companies — big and small — are embracing IoT for the long term.
Growth Of IoT
The oldest and the most humble beginning of IoT probably lies in Bluetooth technology, that leverages the power of short-range radio waves to transmit data to and from a device. Back in 1994 of course, Ericsson, the creators of Bluetooth, had no idea that a couple of decades later, their invention will become the basis for a virtual network of sorts for every portable electronic device.
Today, IoT is the technology that lets you connect everything from your home security system, air purifier, lighting, music, television — all from the central processing unit aka your smartphone. IoT as a technology is only bound to grow in the months to come with more and more devices make way into the ecosystem.
An Ecosystem Committed To IoT
In October this year, Qualcomm, the big daddy of smartphone chips, made a global announcement about the upcoming 5G network protocol, based on ‘millimeter wave’, which is specifically designed for better IoT operations, ensuring ultra-low latency and the ability to process multiple streams of data at the same time. Companies like Huawei and Xiaomi have already created specific IPs for better device management and efficient functioning of home wi-fi systems. A couple of years ago, Huawei opened up its IoT framework to its network partners to ensure that not just its own devices but also third-party devices could benefit from its IoT network.
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While lay consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of the IoT movement of sorts, even corporate powerhouses, and large multinationals are using IoT to power enterprise-scale operations. Last week, SAP brought to India, its entire portfolio of cloud-based digital transformation tools, called SAP Leonardo. IoT forms the backbone of this offering from SAP that will allow SMBs and boutique companies 'buy' IoT components along with Blockchain, Machine Learning, Analytics modules etc from the cloud and use it to create applications.
The Tech Behind IoT
While from the outside, IoT might seem like a simple, straightforward concept, there are many technical layers to it. In layman terms, IoT is a mesh of physical objects that are connected to the internet and controlled remotely. In technical terms, this translates to collecting large amounts of unstructured data, analyzing them, and then predicting future behaviors. This, in turn, involves multiple network protocols, frameworks, and languages.
The job of a typical techie who is involved in an IoT project will involve implementing codes, data extraction, modeling of extracted data, managing files over the network, server management, management of VPNs and many more elements before finally creating an application.
Where Are The IoT Jobs?
IoT has pervaded into pretty much every job role remotely connected with IT, but you need to acquire specific skills on top of your regular tech competency in order to ride the IoT career wave. Some of the highest paying and most sought-after job titles these days are; IoT Solutions Architect, IoT Cloud Architect, IoT Systems Engineer, IoT Security Developer, among others. For the more experimental and R&D driven folks, there are jobs like IoT Research Analyst, IoT Development Lead and the likes.
Also, do look out for IoT innovation labs and Center of Excellence wings of IT companies that are dedicated to serious IoT R&D for different industry domains. Government bodies and associations are dedicating themselves to IoT as well. One of the popular ones is NASSCOM’s IoT Center of Excellence based in Bangalore, that also acts as an incubation center for entrepreneurial start-ups.
Future Of IoT
When we mention IoT, we are staring at something that will add $300 billion to the global technology industry in less than three years. It is also estimated that the three big cats of the industry — manufacturing, logistics, and utilities — will contribute to 50% of all IoT innovation during this time. This, besides the more consumer-driven applications and offerings that are being created by the ecosystem every single day. Indeed, we are in for good times with IoT!