With 2019 having passed, we are no doubt eager to see the emerging technologies of 2020! However, I wanted to talk about a piece of technology that has been 'emerging' for a while now, which is the 'Internet of Things' or 'IoT'. 

First of all, what is the Internet of Things? Although not very well explained, it is in the name in that 'the Internet of Things' (mainly) refers to any physical device that is connected to the internet. If you're not too familiar with old adages, Murphy's Law states: "Everything that can possibly benefit from being connected, will be connected".

There are lots of 'things' in our homes and offices that could benefit from being a little smarter and help automate our lives. Items that we could not have imagined being anything but a sturdy piece of plastic now has a screen and can connect to our smartphones! Amazon Echos, Fitbits, Doorbell cams, Smart light bulbs? You name it!

Although there has been a recent boom in the development of IoT devices in a retail capacity, the same cannot be said for the adoption of IoT for Small to Enterprise level businesses. 

A survey conducted by Northeastern University saw that from a survey sample of 500 Engineers, around 37.8 percent said that data analysis and data aggregation was the biggest challenge faced by IoT today. Second to this, with 25.7 percent, was the inadequate skill levels of workers in the field.

The IoT is a blend of Hardware, software, and other elements including Cloud infrastructure, data analytics, and embedded software. Due to the wide range of skills required to work in this field, the demand and supply gaps for trained and qualified workers will continue to grow.

There are set to be over 64 billion IoT devices installed around the world by 2026, with $15 trillion being spent on IoT devices, solutions and supporting systems. 200,000 IT workers will be needed to support the demand for this technology and this is a growing problem with other technologies such as Machine learning and AI which require experience and extensive knowledge over very niche tools and technologies. 

Should educational institutions offer more programs for students to gain relevant experience with these up and coming technologies?  Will businesses eventually find a way to overcome these challenges? Or will the lack of experienced workers hamper the adoption of these emerging technologies?