As the digital revolution continues to transform people's lives and change the way businesses operate all over the world, one area of innovation that is growing in significance with each passing year is the Internet of Things (IoT).
People are becoming increasingly comfortable with the presence of connected devices at home, at work, and on the go.
If your business wants to stay relevant and agile in a time of such rapid change and tech-driven evolution, it's time to start paying serious attention to the IoT.
IoT 'at a turning point'
Any organization that isn't tracking trends in the IoT and thinking about the potential business value of these innovations is running the risk of falling behind competitors and appearing out of touch with the current technological landscape.
There are numerous projections and forecasts that give an idea of how the IoT will escalate in size and importance over the next few years. According to Gartner, the number of connected devices in use around the world will increase from 14 billion this year to 25 billion by 2021.
This trend is set to have an impact in regions all over the world. In South America, for example, the market is set to reach a value of $19.4 billion by 2023, according to Research and Markets.
In the United States, California recently enacted the country's first IoT law, which focuses specifically on the security of connected devices. The legislation is due to come into effect in January 2020.
More and more organizations are getting onboard with the IoT. International Data Corporation forecasts have suggested that business spending in this area will grow at a compound annual rate of 13.6 per cent in the 2017-2022 period, reaching $1.2 trillion by 2022.
Carrie MacGillivray, IDC group vice-president for IoT and mobility, said: 'The IoT market is at a turning point – projects are moving from proof of concept into commercial deployments. Organizations are looking to extend their investment as they scale their projects, driving spending for the hardware, software, services, and connectivity required to enable IoT solutions.'
While there will undoubtedly be a big emphasis placed on how the IoT can unlock new revenue opportunities, as a business you could also have a lot to gain from effective internal deployment of these technologies, particularly in HR and recruitment.
IoT importance in the world of work
The IoT has the potential to radically transform how businesses operate, and its influence will extend to HR and recruitment.
HR managers will need to consider factors including the security and privacy implications of people carrying around more connected devices. If employees are using a broader range of IoT applications to view and store sensitive data, it's important they have the proper security measures and cyber protections in place.
Providing training to inform people about these sorts of issues will prove increasingly important as the IoT continues to grow.
IoT applications can also provide new ways for your organization to engage with your staff and support their general health and well-being. Wearable devices such as smart watches can help to ensure people are staying active and not spending too long in a sedentary state.
Engaging with staff on these sorts of efforts can help to improve individuals' health and fitness, strengthen morale and boost productivity.
As far as recruitment is concerned, one of your key focuses is likely to be bringing in the skills and experience needed to ensure secure and beneficial deployment of IoT tools.
In such a fast-moving area, however, you could often find yourself hiring for roles that are still very much in their infancy, or that don't even exist within many organizations. It's safe to say this can make recruitment a challenge, particularly in business-critical areas related to data privacy and security.
One of the most effective strategies is to look for people who have the right mindset and core skills to thrive in the fast-moving IoT environment. Seek candidates who are comfortable with a rapid pace of change and are excited by the challenge of venturing into as-yet unexplored areas.
Randstad has found that many of today's workers see rapid technological evolution and digitalization as a positive thing. Three-quarters (74%) of people surveyed for the Q4 2018 Workmonitor report viewed the increasing impact of technology on their jobs as an opportunity, while 80% were keen to acquire more digital skills to enhance their future employability.
In short, if your business is prepared to invest in relevant training and development, people are ready to learn.
Technological innovation has also given rise to a wider range of tools to optimize recruitment. Applications backed by the Randstad Innovation Fund such as HackerRank and Pymetrics, for example, can help employers find people with the right core skills and cognitive abilities through methods such as gamification and psychometric assessment.
By leveraging these sorts of tools and coming up with an effectively targeted recruitment strategy, you can maximize your firm's potential to succeed in the IoT era.