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Adelaide becomes first Internet of Things (IoT) region in Southern Hemisphere

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It seems there’s an app for everything. But with Internet of Things (IoT), interconnectivity is about to explode across a new realm of everyday devices.

Described as the reinvention of the internet to an unprecedented level, a recent report, there will be 35-50 billion connected devices (not smartphones and laptops) by 2020.

IoT will transform our lives and our economy – US $4-11 trillion per year to be exact. From wearable technology like Google (and more recently, Snapchat) glasses to Uber’s autonomous cars, IoT can benefit everyone, especially businesses.

IoT is going to be like the internet’s impact all over again, but much bigger. This is cars constantly talking to global servers about analysis on everything including who’s driving. White goods knowing what you have/want/need in your fridge… and ordering online.

Internet-connectivity going 360°-real-time-24/7 – everywhere. And experts believe Australia could become the global leader of IoT for key industries, due to our current position in those spaces – R&D got a particular mention.

IoT cut costs & improves efficiencies 

Two in three Australian companies embracing IoT have improved their bottom line by 28%. A wide range of industries are already embracing it, including across finance, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, energy and logistics. But we still have a long way to go.

Government and multi-national corporations play a key role in encouraging commercial-trade IoT solutions in Australia.

Mike Briers, CEO of the KEi and IoT Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, believes we’re yet to see few good examples of fully integrated services that reliably provide decision support information to end users.

“There’s a need for unparalleled collaboration and that’s a strong role for government to fill that space, to motivate new standards, and so on,” he said.

South Australia has become the nation’s most tech-savvy region and the first IoT region in the Southern Hemisphere. Multiple projects are in the works, including an agreement with French IoT provider, Sigfox, and two pilot projects for smart lighting and parking.

With Techstars first Asia-Pacific accelerator program, the rollout of Australia’s largest network, the $50 billion Smart Cities campaign, and other initiatives, Adelaide is on its way to becoming the world-first Smart City.

Adelaide has all the right ingredients to adopt new developments in technology due to many factors, including its CBD size and population.

As our cities continue to develop intuitively with IoT, new jobs and careers will open up.

The emerging jobs & what we know about them

The list of opportunities in IoT is growing by the day, as new technical breakthroughs appear. Here are a few of the IoT jobs of today:

  • Business Intelligence Specialists with skills in sensor data analysis, predictive analysis and data center management
  • Cyber Security Specialists to manage complexity in IP-enabled devices;
  • UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) Designers to develop effective, user-friendly interfaces
  • Mobile Application Developers to manage smart objects controlled with mobile devices like tablets, smartphones and wearables
  • Computer Hardware Engineers to design and develop the actual electronics at the heart of the IoT movement
  • Networking Pros to manage embedded sensors used by smart devices to communicate with their environment.

Sam Costello, who is pioneering a smart campus initiative at UNSW, believes movement needs to happen at the tertiary education level. We’re lacking in the data visualisation and analysis skills, which will be required for IoT jobs in the future.

Interestingly, critical thinking and creativity are the two most important things, Costello says. Being able to interpret data is one thing, but the ability to think creatively and do something meaningful with it is the difference. Therefore, multi-skilled talent is needed for IoT.

IoT experts will be numbers experts, yes, but humanising that data into the real world can’t be done without good communication skills.

Change is happening and there’s no denying it. The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionising industries and it’s up to us to grow alongside technology to shape our careers for the better.

What can your new job reality look like?

If you would like to know about IoT and future opportunities for you, please contact Jess Perry at jessica@careerblueprint.com.au.

March 2017

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