A recent Verizon report, State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017, includes a forecast by Gartner, Inc. that there will be an estimated 8.4 billion connected "things" in use in 2017, up 31% from 2016, with 73% of executives either researching or currently deploying IoT. In this same report, we here at Verizon concluded that IoT is at the center of digital transformation in 2017, but what kind of impact can we expect to see on the job market? In this month’s “Insights On” blog post, I asked three of our portfolio companies, goTenna, Toymail and Ringly, to share their thoughts on the question of IoT and its impact on the workplace.
As the investment and spending in IoT continues to grow, how have you seen IoT impact the job market?
Daniela Perdomo, Co-founder & CEO of goTenna: We used to only hire people from big companies like Qualcomm and Bell Labs, but with the advancement of areas such as IoT, there's a real hardware ecosystem in New York City. Now, several of our newest employees have come from smaller companies in 3D printing or connected home startups in the area. It's great to be able to build a team with a wider variety of really relevant professional experiences because hardware is, after all, hard and collectively we've seen almost everything which means we're better-equipped for all the challenges of creating incredible products.
Gauri Nanda, Co-founder of Toymail: I know that our goal at Toymail is to create toys that do not grow stale and to achieve this, we increasingly focus on how to track, analyze, and utilize data. As IoT gains more ground, those that can think across disciplines, and fill a 'hybrid' role of being able to analyze and increase engagement through marketing strategy and product design will be key for companies looking to scale.
With any new technological advancement, jobs are both lost and gained.
Christina d’Avignon, Founder and CEO of Ringly: As the Internet of Things starts turning more physical objects into digital objects, companies have the opportunity to create better experiences for the customer and the business. At Ringly we combine hardware, software, industrial design, jewelry design, ux/ui, brand and data science to create a suite of connected jewelry products. Seamlessly integrating various skills will be required for any traditional business to successfully operate in a hyper-connected world.
What new degrees, careers, and jobs do you expect to see in the next 5 years?
DP: I am very bullish on the decentralization of our society's infrastructural systems, whether that's energy, transit, food systems, banking or what goTenna works on: connectivity. I think everyone with an interest in technology, whether they're engineers or businesspeople, would be wise to educate themselves on what that means both technically and societally. We are entering an era where I think all of our fundamental facilities and systems are about to be reimagined for the 21st century to increase scale, resilience and access. Technology isn't really disruptive until it's accessible to anyone who needs it, and we're going to see more core ways of doing things go from being run top-down to created from the bottom-up. I recommend reading up about cryptocurrencies, distributed protocols and the political economy of technology. You don't need to go to school to learn about this, the Internet can educate you on these topics because there are new innovations and ideas bubbling up every day. These are exciting times.
CA: As someone who benefited greatly from a degree in Human Computer Interaction, which combines design, computer science and psychology, I can see more degrees being created that focus on a diverse set of skills needed to thrive in an IoT future.
IoT has certainly made some major advancements in the last few years but we still have a ways to go til the potential is truly realized. As Daniela says, these are in fact exciting times and we are very much looking forward to all the “things” to come with IoT.
Interested in working at any of these companies?
- goTenna is hiring for a Full Stack Developer, Senior Mobile Developer and more! Check out all open positions here.
- Toymail is hiring for a Full Stack Engineer, Embedded Developer and more! Check out all open positions here.