New IT king?

It’s IoT architect’s time to shine

Gabriela Motroc

Internet of Things is rapidly becoming a central piece of the IT industry, so it goes without saying that the star of this growing topic of conversation, the IoT architect, may become one of the most sought-after roles.

Gartner’s Drue Reeves wrote in a recent blog post that “IT managers and personnel must start now to hire IT personnel with the broad skills necessary to be a successful IoT architect.” The research firm’s Managing VP and Distinguished Analyst opined that an IoT architect must do whatever it takes to come up with end-to-end IoT solutions which solve real business problems. Because building a solution which collects real-time sensor data from operational technology, streaming the data to an IoT platform, analyzing it and evoking applications which could alter the course of one’s business are abilities that not everybody has, it makes sense to hire a professional with a diverse skill set, he added.

Quick X-ray of an IoT architect’s profile

According to Reeves, an IoT architect is “an IT leadership position that is responsible for the vision, strategy, architecture and shepherding of IoT solutions from inception to deployment.” An IoT architect should have a B.S. in Computer Science, Engineering or Information Technology and should have a collection of skills such as business acumen, leadership, integration skills, technical knowledge, artful communication and dealing with ambiguity. Although Gartner’s Managing VP and Distinguished Analyst could not pinpoint an IoT architect’s salary, he did point to dice.com, which states that a cloud architect’s average salary was $160,000 from 2013-2015.

The IoT architect has a dual role: to help the company solve various business problems by building discrete IoT solutions and to take responsibility for setting and communicating the overall IoT vision, message and architecture. Because a company may have multiple IoT projects, it is the IoT architect’s job to make sure the company does not end up with  a proliferation of IoT devices, platforms and architectures.

Perks and perils of being an IoT architect

One of the reasons why Reeves believes that the IoT architect could become the next big role in IT is because this job is not for the “faint of heart.” Such a person needs technical expertise in a number of key IoT technology spaces including app dev, transport protocols, cloud computing, embedded systems, stream processing, analytics, data management, identity management and security to name a few. Then there’s the integration expertise the IoT architect needs to have under his belt because he may have to explain the integration and I/O flow throughout the entire solution. This role also demands business acumen, organizational versatility and the ability to deal with ambiguity.

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Although there is a long list of perks, this role also has perils, namely if IoT goes “bust,” if it is just a fad or if this role does not work out for you personally. Luckily, the versatility of this role will allow IoT architects to quickly accept other positions in the IT world.

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at S&S Media she studied International Communication Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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