A "tremendous shortfall" in the number of skilled Internet of Things (IoT) techies is playing on the mind of Cisco, which pledged to train the industry with the help of its partners.
At its Cisco Partner Summit which kicked off in Montreal last night, the firm's vice president for Industry Solutions Group, Steve Steinhilber, said the IoT market will be worth $19tn (£12.48tn) by 2020 – $14.4tn of which will come from the private sector, and $4.6tn from the public sector, through schemes such as smart cities and smart buildings.
He insisted that partners are already enjoying up to a 40 per cent annual boost to their Cisco businesses through selling IoT kit, but said the skills gap is a pressing concern.
"We continue to provide education around the broad range of skills required across all vertical industries. There is huge growth and real interest from the partners due to the huge economic value [IoT offers]," he said.
"For Cisco and our partners this is a genuinely new available market. We are addressing the operational buying centre of a company, not just the IT department.
"One of the big gaps we see in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills. You have people coming from the operational technology space and people coming from the IT space so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge. For Cisco, just in the industrial [vertical market], we see a shortage of 300,000 people with the right skills across the globe."
In the past nine months, Cisco has trained 38 partners globally as IoT Specialised partners, and another 94 are currently going through the process, Steinhilber said, adding that this should start to fill the gap.
"We've begun rolling out a series of programmes," he said. "Over the next 12 months you will see a serious of other unique training courses focused on industry-vertical skills."
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