Top 5 skills needed for the industrial IoT

A blending of technologies to create new IIoT products and services will call for new expertise.

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architect Thinkstock

Architects – These are the big picture guys. IT architects will have a role to play helping systems engineers on the operational side meld the physical and logical worlds. People in this role will be required to understand the full dimensions of a company's existing business, its processes, and its digital transformation goals, and then figure out how to tie it all together using technology.

"Someone who has to design the network across the machines and figure out how to tie it into the ERP system that deals with the supply chains," said OSU's Hill. "You need something like an IT architect who can understand how everything's stitches together. But they need to understand the manufacturing process so really you need the digital manufacturing architect, right."

There will also be new positions created that require a strong engineering mindset coupled with someone who understands code and networking equally well. In Germany, this is called mechatronics, said Hill. In the US, the title is a lot less attractive: industrial maintenance technician. But the roles and responsibilities are the same: keep everything on the shop floor running and fix it when it breaks.

"Your success with Industry 4.0 will depend on skills and knowledge," PwC's report states. "Your biggest constraints may well be your ability to recruit new employees or train existing ones who can put digitization into place. You need to introduce new roles in your company, like data scientists, user interface designers, or digital innovation managers. And you’ll probably need to update existing job profiles to take into account new digital skills."

Allen Bernard is a veteran freelance business and technology writer, former managing editor and entrepreneurHe can be reached at 614-937-2316 or abernie182 @ gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter at @allen_bernard1, and on Linked In.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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