Inmarsat report shows IT skills-deficit could hold up innovation in energy sector

If energy companies are to successfully deploy Internet of Things (IoT) technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and increased productivity, they must up-skill current employees and/or embark on recruitment drives.

This is the key finding of independent research commissioned by Inmarsat which also found that – while the vast majority of energy companies have their sights set on IoT –  a significant proportion lack the skills needed to take advantage of the technology.

Inmarsat – which provides global mobile satellite communications services – commissioned market research specialist Vanson Bourne who interviewed respondents from 100 large energy companies across the globe.

They and found that while 88 per cent expect to deploy IoT technologies within the next two years, many currently lack the skills needed to do so effectively. Other findings: – 

  • Over a third (35 per cent) of energy firms said that they lack the management skills to make the most of IoT
  • 43 per cent lack the skills to do so at a delivery level
  • 53 per cent of respondents said that they would benefit from additional skills at a strategic level to take full advantage of IoT.
  • 54 per cent have a shortage in cyber security staff, and:
  • 49 per cent lack skills in technical support, while analytical and data science skills are also in high demand.

Chuck Moseley, Director for Energy for Inmarsat Enterprise, commented: “Whether they work with fossil fuels or renewables, Internet of Things (IoT) technology offers energy companies the potential to streamline their processes and reduce costs in previously unimagined ways.

“But fully realising these benefits depends on energy companies’ access to appropriately-skilled members of staff and it is clear from our research that there are considerable skills gaps in the sector at all stages of IoT deployment.

“Smart sensors, for example, can facilitate the collection of information at every stage of production, enabling them to acquire a higher level of intelligence on how their operations are functioning and to therefore work smarter, more productively and more competitively.

“IoT is set to have a similarly transformative effect on a whole swathe of industries, so it’s likely that the pressure on skills will only increase. Energy companies who currently lack these capabilities in-house will find themselves in a heated recruitment battle for this talent, with Silicon Valley in particular offering an attractive alternative.”

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