Digital Transformation Demands the Workforce of Tomorrow, Today

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Digitization is sweeping every industry, turning established technologies and processes on their ear. Trends like cloud, mobile, Big Data, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are dramatically changing how people live, work and play all over the world. To gain the benefits in efficiency, performance and insight that digitization offers, we need the people with the skills who will make it happen. Training and hiring the right people with the right skills will make the difference.

There’s one little problem, however. Currently there’s a big skills gap between the number of job roles needed to make across-the-board digitization a reality, and the number of workers in the market with those skills. The IoT is one area in particular that holds significant market promise, yet lacks the workforce to make that promise a reality.

As a result, public and private organizations will need to become producers of talent as well as consumers.

Cisco recognized, along with other companies and academic institutions, that it will take teamwork to get the job done. Building IoT expertise into business capabilities and driving innovation across multiple industries will require a major reskilling of the existing workforce.

The talent gap today is in the millions. Cybersecurity alone needs a million professionals to fill its jobs deficit. To connect infrastructure securely, we need security talent at scale today and to help predict future threats.

These skill shifts aren’t limited to pure-tech jobs. People in a wide range of traditionally non-technical jobs will need to be far more literate in a number of new technology areas. By 2020, around half percent of all jobs will require technology literacy in day-to-day business duties. In addition, more of these jobs will demand the ability to learn and adapt to new technologies and tools that boost productivity. Organizations will need the right digital learning tools, knowledge management systems and educational content in place to promote continuous learning and up-skilling in real-time.

Bringing up the next generation of talent

Bringing the next wave of learners up to speed isn’t something you can do overnight. Organizations must devote time and resources to hiring and developing the best talent the market has to offer, and they must also actively support impactful education that supports employees’ career paths -- from higher education, through the learner’s career lifetime.

In tomorrow’s digitized economy, business and cities will need to connect with their hiring base and constituents in new ways to ensure critical infrastructure and public services are sustainable, safe and scalable for growing populations. Forging strong ties between educational institutions and learners in the workforce is crucial. No organization can remain an island if cities and local talent are to reach their potential and compete in the digitized market.

IoT skills in demand

No one group can solve the IoT talent gap by itself. The problem can only be solved by a big-picture perspective from the economy’s biggest players, a conversation among government, technology, manufacturing and business leaders pooling their needs and insights and directing it back toward the training and learning community. We need the clear insights from leaders in IoT industries, educators, cities and government.

And to get the conversation started, we launched the IoT Talent Consortium with the likes of MIT, GE Digital, Microsoft, Pearson, Disney, Rockwell, the state of Illinois, New York Academy of Sciences and IQNavigator.

The goal of the IoT Talent Consortium is to disrupt the way the industry develops and acquires talent by defining new hybrid IoT skill sets and building training and skills-matching-platforms to facilitate the transition to a digital world.

We are committed to building a talent exchange centered around a new skill taxonomy, defined by major organizations in every IoT sector. Each sector has its own ecosystem tap into. By coming together, we will bring forth people trained for this new digital world. Even though it’s going to come from outside of the traditional school system, educators are integrated into the ecosystem as we seek to scale and democratize IoT and digitally focused programs for learning.

The IoT Talent Consortium wants feedback and participation on this journey. We encourage you to join. We are bringing together everyone in the industrial IoT and smart city forum to help decide what jobs are needed in this new space, where there are at many new job types being created with new types of skills we haven’t seen before.

The internet and education are the great equalizers to equality and human growth. Our hope is that the IoT Talent Consortium can bring forward a new capability that allows every employer to engage in the way we have, by aggregating and leveraging shared assets, best practices and thought leadership to address our collective talent challenge.

Looking ahead, there is much we can accomplish together in the IoT economy. Through this journey of talent development, we will realize the benefits to our businesses and communities promised by the Internet of Things

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