Five Ways Organisations Can Prepare Their Workforce For IoT
For businesses, IoT offers a huge opportunity to harness data, optimise their operations and deliver ever more relevant experiences to their customers. It also represents a significant challenge. By connecting more and more devices to one another, businesses are leaving themselves exposed to security threats in ways never previously thought possible.
What does this mean for businesses’ IoT ambitions? It means they need to have the right security strategy in place, to protect both their customers and themselves. And this all starts with people and skills. With the right talent and expertise, organisations can capitalise on IoT-related opportunities, without exposing their operations to significant cyber threats. Getting the right balance of skills is not an easy task, but there are five steps that organisations should take to ensure their workforce is prepared:
1. Move quickly
Faced with such a tight labour market, organisations cannot afford to wait around when hiring new talent. IT specialists are in high demand and short supply, so businesses must act quickly and decisively to secure the best. What’s more, any gap in your IT infrastructure can be exploited by hackers in no time at all. Waste time deciding on your new recruit, and you risk leaving yourself open to security breaches. You can be sure that your customers won’t waste time in leaving you behind, either.
2. Take a blended approach
The most effective workforces are those that blend permanent staff with contractors and project-based staff. Permanent staff ensure you have long-term business continuity, while contractors give you a quick injection of fresh skills and experience. Contractors can also be used to ‘build’ talent, by mentoring, upskilling and cross-skilling less knowledgeable permanent members of staff.
3. Offer continual training
Most employers are aware of the benefits of offering development opportunities to existing staff. It’s particularly important in IoT, since the rate of change means it’s essential that teams do not become stagnant. But offering your people ad-hoc training sessions doesn’t go far enough. Employers need to nurture a culture of learning, where employees are encouraged to be curious, seek out learning opportunities, and continually upskill and reskill.
4. Consider Offsite Working
Certain tech skills in certain locations come with a premium price tag attached. To expand your pool of potential talent, consider remote workers for both contract and permanent salaries. Unsurprisingly, salaries and day rates for IoT professionals are generally lower outside of London. Offsite and remote workers could represent a more economical way of acquiring talent without sacrificing quality.
5. Trust The Professionals
Despite the obvious security risks that come with IoT, some organisations still don’t understand the severity of what they could potentially face. Specific security budgets must be set and processes followed. But more importantly, senior management teams need to delegate the delivery of specialist security functions to those with the knowledge and expertise to do so. Having invested significantly in these leadership roles, CISOs and their peers must be given the support and space to deliver businesses’ security strategy.
By hiring the right talent, businesses will be better placed to fully embrace IoT, while protecting their operations from malicious attacks. To achieve this, organisations must have a clear workforce strategy that encompasses how, who and what they hire, and how to develop their existing staff. Partnering with a recruitment specialist can help. Only through a blended approach that covers the broadest relevant talent will they acquire the ability to protect themselves against cyber threats without hampering their IoT potential.
To learn more about the growth of the Internet of Things and the impact this is having on the IT workforce, download our latest report Industry Insiders: Securing The Internet of Things.
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