Since the idea first emerged, the Internet of Things and its concept of billions of previously unconnected, offline devices — maybe even a trillion of these devices – being linked together have been repeatedly described as the future. A game changer. The next big thing. But, despite all those prognostications, one serious challenge remains: Is everyone actually ready for that future?
Network World reports the findings of a new survey, which reveals, among other things, that the skills necessary for taking advantage of and executing on IoT applications in the workplace are in seriously short supply. Just 20 percent of the 500 IoT technology professionals who participated in the study said they “had all the skills they needed” to execute on their team or company’s planned IoT initiatives. That means if you had assigned an IoT project to any five given employees, only one of them would actually feel fully prepared for the task.
Now, it’s not as if those other four employees are absolutely clueless about IoT and what to do with it. But, if enterprises are already factoring in IoT applications as integral elements of their short- and long-term projects, and 80 percent of the employees they’ve assigned to these roles still feel like they’re lacking in all the skills they need to successfully perform in those roles, then that’s a serious problem. Compounding the issue is that 68 percent of businesses are struggling with hiring for IoT positions, according to a recent survey by one of our clients, Canonical, indicating that enterprises are not filling the IoT skills gaps in their own teams with new hires that have those skills.
Of course, enterprises aren’t slowing down on IoT applications, nor should they. The survey results point to 90 percent of IoT project managers planning to adopt smart technologies that provide oversight on “energy and materials usage,” according to Network World, with “security management, business process automation and wide area controls, such as vehicle and device management” also highly prioritized applications.
But, rather than the hit the brakes on IoT adoption, perhaps these findings should give the C-suite some pause about where they’re allocating their IoT implementation resources. If 80 percent of IoT users in a given company don’t feel fully prepared for these duties, then enterprises should look to ramp up skills and training as major focuses of their IoT preparation. Otherwise, the game changer that IoT is supposed to be could be held back by the very people who are supposed to benefit most from it.
With a skilled team of IoT public relations and communications professionals, March has its fingers on the pulse of all things IoT and connectivity. Whether working with new startups or long-established brand names, we’re committed to ensuring that our clients are at the forefront of the industry’s key IoT conversations.
Did you know that the Boston area is America’s second-largest embedded systems market, behind Silicon Valley? Every year, software developers, hardware engineers, executives and suppliers gather in Boston at the Embedded Systems Conference to hear the latest industry news. New England’s largest annual embedded systems event, ESC features two days of industry education, sourcing and networking.
March VP Meredith L. Eaton attended the conference yesterday to learn more about where this industry is headed. She shared some of her thoughts on the event in her most recent LinkedIn Pulse post, “Embedded Systems Backing ‘Perfect Storm’ of New Devices.” There is a ton of excitement in the embedded tech world around current and future real-world applications.
Max Maxfield, Editor in Chief of embedded.com, gave a session about how the integration of technologies like artificial neural networks, cognitive thinking/reasoning, machine learning and VR/AR, underpinned by embedded designs, will lead to futuristic technologies much sooner than you might expect.
Enjoyed @MaxMaxfield‘s talk at #ESCconf on Advanced Tech for 21st Century Embedded Systems. Embedded vision & speech? Cool stuff coming!
As these technologies speed ahead, comms pros have the opportunity to bring to life new and compelling narratives. Innovative technologies may also change the landscape of PR, as with the coming IoT era. Embedded sensors provide a wealth of data for highly data-driven campaigns, and evolving tech like voice assistants will affect SEO strategy. Lots of new and exciting things to come!
With these predictions in the billions, the coming IoT era is positioned to shape everything we do, from restocking groceries and driving connected cars to PR, marketing and communications strategies. How exactly will the IoT affect the PR industry? March Vice President Meredith L. Eaton offered her thoughts on the subject in her most recent LinkedIn Pulse, “Ready, Set, Adapt. Key Marcomms Questions for the IoT Era.”
The wealth of data produced by embedded sensors, for example, provides opportunities for highly data-driven campaigns, but marcomms pros will need to keep an eye on more substantial shifts in strategy as well.
Will the proliferation of voice assistant technology mean moving away from the written word? And how will the IoT affect your approach to SEO, when users abandon website search engines in favor of voice-activated options, like “Hey Siri” and “OK Google”? New opportunities may also arise, like the possibility of using predictive automation to create social media posts and communities.
We’ve already seen some of this kind of automation technology, with robot reporters writing news stories. The Associated Press, working with Automated Insights and Zachs Investment Research, uses algorithms to translate data into earnings stories, based on AP’s style and content preferences. These stories are written with no human involvement, though AP editors and reporters may update or expand the material after stories are published.
Perhaps someday PR pros may similarly be using robots to generate press releases, or relying on predictive automation for social media posts. We’ll certainly be looking out for these trends in the years to come.
What’s new in the mobile industry? Earlier this month, members of the March team went to Mobile World Congress (MWC) to find out. With 108,000 attendees and more than 2,300 exhibitors, MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. In addition to supporting client presence at MWC, March team members checked out what’s on the horizon in the mobile tech world, like a car you can control with your mind.
IoT edged out 5G as the most buzzed-about technology at MWC17. One of our clients, Canonical, was able to capitalize on this trend with its purpose-built IoT platform, Ubuntu Core with snaps. In her most recent LinkedIn Pulse post, Vice President Meredith Eaton chronicled Ubuntu’s success at MWC. As a result of proactive media outreach, social media promotion and interactive use cases on the booth, Ubuntu was one of the top 15 most mentioned brands at MWC – edging out brands like Apple, Amazon and LG in the process!
Proactive media outreach is always key when you’re gearing up for an event. That’s one of the tips Account Director Courtney Allen offers in her post, “The Definitive ‘Don’ts’ For Good Public Relations at Events.” Though event planning may be stressful, Courtney advocates for maintaining a positive attitude and keeping a cool head.
MWC is just one of the many major industry events we’ve attended so far this year. Check out our recaps of CES and NRF for our team’s take on this year’s emerging trends.
The latest tech news roundup straight from the media mavens
As communications professionals, we keep abreast of the latest in tech news as part of our daily routine. Want to be as clued in as we are? Then read on for a download of the latest happenings during July and August in the hottest, most valuable areas of tech – straight from our desks to yours.
Robotics & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A team of researchers at non-profit OpenAI is studying how to optimize deep learning, a kind of machine learning based on feeding data that is attributable for great strides in artificial intelligence. The researchers are building algorithms to help robots understand conversations better. MIT Technology Review reports.
AugmentedReality (AR) & VirtualReality(VR)
Meanwhile, IDC has released a report, Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide, finding that worldwide revenues for the AR and VR markets is expected to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion by 2020. With these markets on the cusp of extreme lucrativeness, TechCrunch explores how the Pokémon Go craze has changed everything, and yet nothing at all, for the worlds of augmented and virtual reality.
AT&T and Orange are teaming up to create open software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) standards. As the industry aligns on new, interoperable standards, these two carriers and other large global service providers leading these efforts are faced with challenges that include overcoming existing standards, inflexible architectures and multiple network topologies. FierceTelecom covers AT&T and Orange’s plan to battle these obstacles.
The worlds of fashion and 3D printing collide in student designer Danit Peleg’s latest clothing line. Peleg is using 3D printing technology to create elastic fabric called FilaFlex that can be glued together to construct dresses and other fashion-forward clothing. Motherboard reports.
Internet of Things (IOT)
Computerworld reports that the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is on track to outpace smartphone growth. In fact, U.S. carriers reported adding more cars than new phones to their networks in the second quarter. More cars were connected to cellular networks last quarter in the U.S. than tablets, ranking in at 1.4 million cars over 900,000 tablets.
In The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Product Launch, you’ll learn:
– How to plan before a big event or product launch
– The strategy behind promoting and publishing collateral
– How to approach social media and influencers before, during and after a launch
– What and how to measure to keep a campaign going
This week in March Communications #FridayFive, we uncover the latest in PR, digital and social news, specifically: can businesses succeed without social media, Twitter verification has gone public, why IoT is critical to future success, how the UK’s digital strategy must account for Brexit and does your social media strategy address security concerns?
The BIS Committee said the government should “explain how the digital strategy will be affected by the referendum result” and “needs to address the issue of whether businesses will be able to access the European single digital market, if they want to do so” in light of the vote to leave the EU.
Emerging Tech PR: Apple Ranked Most Recognizable IoT Brand, with Google Least Recognized Among Consumers
According to a recent Internet of Things (IoT) survey, 48% of consumers are most familiar with Apple devices, followed by Samsung at 22%, Amazon at 15% and Google at 13%. Do these findings come as a surprise to you?
Three Innovative Ideas for Using Long-Form Content to Successfully Engage Customers