Internet of Things (IoT) – Required Networking Skills

Networks for the Internet of Things (IoT) demand various knowledge. Based on their fields of application (and, as a consequence, different requirements) very different networks are in use. The  (future) task of an employee, his or her practical experience and previous knowledge call for very different networking skills.

Definition of Terms

Until now humans use the Internet to communicate to each other or to access information. Their tools are computers (as desktop computer, notebook, tablet or similar), smart phones or IP phones.

The term „Machine-to-Machine“ (M2M) communication describes the direct, autonomous communication between machines or devices without human intervention. The term „Internet of Things“ (IoT) indicates the use of the Internet to interconnect various devices over any distance or to increase flexibility in communication. The term “Industry 4.0” is used for interconnected intelligent and autonomous manufacturing machines in the industrial environment (e.g. production plants). The machines communicate to each other and to management systems. Programmable logic controllers may be integrated into the network as well.

Applications of the Internet of Things

Applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) are manyfold. Examples are: connected cars, wearables, production plants, air-conditioning systems in buildings, security solutions like video surveillance,  fire protection systems, systems of signalling burgar and robbery, patient monitoring in hospitals and much more.

Networks for the Internet of Things

The very different IoT applications demand very different network types, topologies, protocols and management tasks. Of course, very different networking elements considering the respective environmental conditions are required as well.

Find Information about IoT network concepts in my presentation on Slideshare:

Required Knowledge

For your educational planning of your employees you should consider:

IoT experienced employees may have following previous knowledge (explained by two examples):

  • Sales staff: IoT business scenarious and applications
  • System engineers, developers: programming, IoT specific networks and protocols

Required knowledge:

  • Sales staff: conventional office IT business scenarios and applications (commercial and technical IT), understanding of requirements of office IT operators
  • System engineers, developers: conventional office IT networks and protocols, security requirements

Office IT employees may have following previous knowledge (explained by two examples):

  • Sales staff: conventional office IT business scenarios and applications
  • System engineers, developers: programming, office IT networks and protocols

Required knowledge:

  • Sales staff: IoT business scenarious and applications
  • System engineers, developers: requirements, features and functions of IoT networks and protocols

Find a listing of general topics for both IoT and office IT employees in my Slideshare presentation:

The individual training requirements (skills gap) result from the need for specialization in a core topic (IoT or office IT) and additionally the need to interconnect IoT and office IT solutions. Trainings covering the required knowledge should help to understand the challenges of both sides.

Training Planning

You should consider following points when you plan your IoT trainings:

  • The (future) responsibilities of your employees (e.g. sales, sales support, product manager, system integrator, developer,…)
  • Practical experience (e.g. sales of office IT networking solutions, troubleshooting of industrial networks)
  • Market expertise (e.g. vendor of solutions, sales partners, market trends, know-how sources)
  • Preknowledge, formal education (e.g. secondary or higher education, university, certifications, other types of education and training)

Find examples of IoT seminar topics in my above-mentioned Slideshare presentation and in my next blog post.

What seminar topics are of interest to you? What topics are you missing? I welcome your comments and suggestions to this blog!

 

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 Resources:

Books and courseware on networking technology
Seminars on communications technologies

 About the Author:

Ronald Schlager is an independent trainer, consultant, book author and blogger about communications technologies and their applications.

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