New research finds that over 60% of agritech businesses need additional skilled employees to take full advantage of opportunities offered by IoT
16 January 2018: The potential for Internet of Things (IoT) technology to drive innovation, efficiency, and increased productivity in the agricultural sector is at risk, as agritech businesses must urgently upskill current employees and embark on recruitment drives to ensure they have the capabilities to deliver the technology. According to independent research commissioned by Inmarsat, while the vast majority of agritech companies are moving towards IoT, a significant proportion lack the staff and skills needed to take advantage of the technology.
Market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large agritech businesses across the globe and found that while over 46 per cent of agritech businesses reported full deployment of IoT solutions and a further 16 per cent have initiated a partial deployment, many currently lack the skills needed to do so effectively. Additionally, agritech businesses require an uplift in skills at the strategic level, where 65 per cent of respondents identified a shortfall, as well as the management and delivery of IoT deployment, where over 50 per cent of respondents said they lacked staff.
The research also revealed the specific IoT skillsets that agritech companies are lacking. 55 per cent of agritech companies reported a shortage in cyber security personnel, with analytical and data science skills coming in second in demand at 53 per cent.
Chris Harry-Thomas, Director of Sector Development Agriculture, Inmarsat, commented on the findings: “IoT is the frontline of the Fourth Agricultural Revolution, providing a digital nerve system with a network of connected and automated devices and sensors. Farmers are leveraging these technologies to dramatically improve the efficiency and precision of their operations, automating irrigation systems so that water is only delivered to where it is needed, and optimising fertilisation to improve yields.
“The automation of these processes is reducing the need for manual intervention on the ground, but creating new requirements for staff skilled in areas such as data analysis and cyber security which, as we have seen from our research, the industry is currently lacking.
“With the digital transformation in full swing, many traditionally mechanical-physical industries, such as agriculture, find themselves in a race to recruit digital specialists to support their IoT ambitions. Competing with the likes of Silicon Valley tech companies for skilled staff will be a challenge for the agritech industry, but as these businesses look to take on the burden of data security to build market share in the agriculture sector, it is critical that they recruit staff with the capability to do so.”
Chris concluded by stating that forming strategic partnerships with third parties can help agritech companies to bridge the gaps in their IoT skills portfolios: “Argitech businesses must upskill their existing staff and attract new talent if they are to develop successful IoT solutions. However, longer term, the focus needs to be on establishing strategic partnerships with IoT specialists. With greater economies of scale, specialist partners can draw together complex IoT solutions across multiple communication networks, including satellite and cellular data, to deploy sophisticated, automated IoT networks across the agricultural industry.”
To view the research microsite and download the full report – ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise’ – visit: http://research.inmarsat.com/
|Edward Dodge/Fergus Lynch
+44 (0)20 7388 9988
Director of Corporate Communications
+44 (0)20 7728 1935
+44 (0)7872 158548
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L).
Inmarsat Enterprise is enabling the connected world. Focusing on the provision of satellite connectivity and IoT solutions for land-based businesses, Inmarsat Enterprise operates globally across a diverse set of sectors including agritech, aid and NGO, energy, media, mining and transport. Inmarsat has a proven track-record of working with some of the most innovative energy and utility companies globally. Our connectivity and IoT solutions enable applications such as well-head monitoring, artificial lift monitoring and control, smart grid monitoring, asset and employee tracking, and communications, delivering operational efficiencies and the safeguarding of people and assets.