What Will You Need to Become a Chief IoT Officer?

By School of Professional Advancement | Date Thursday, Sep 27th, 2018


The Internet of Things (IoT): it sounds so vague when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably already interacted with the IoT in some way. It’s so seamlessly woven into the fabric of your everyday life that you probably don’t even notice. But it’s there nonetheless. It’s working when you feed your parking meter through your mobile device, as you track your workout and vitals with your smartwatch, and when you read about the latest developments in self-driving cars.

Organizations need IoT leaders who are tech savvy and data fluent. They need people who can roll up their sleeves and get involved with research and development, while also possessing intangible IT leadership qualities that keep staff engaged and forward thinking.

What will you need to become an effective Chief IoT Officer?

Real-World Experience

Realistically, you’re unlikely to graduate and immediately land a job as an organization’s top IoT executive. Your undergraduate coursework and internships will certainly help you gain a firm understanding of emerging technology and best business practices, but there’s nothing quite like real-world experience. You’ll need anywhere between 5 and 15 years of experience to make your way up the ladder.

But don’t be discouraged because this is a good thing. Companies need depth of knowledge and experience at the highest levels of corporate American. But if you are impatient (and motivated), there are avenues around that 15 years’ experience benchmark. With an advanced IT degree from the right institution, where you are introduced to coursework that teaches staff management and strategic direction, you’ll learn about high-level decision-making processes; you’ll solidify a deep knowledge of the product or service your organization provides; and, to separate yourself from the competition and make yourself stand out, you’ll develop…

A Customer’s Perspective

If you’re going to create and sell new IoT technologies, you have to think from a customer’s perspective. Will it be intuitive? Is it practical? Is it truly improving the life of the consumer? Become your own customer and try to imagine yourself buying your own product. If you come from a sales or UX background, tap into that experience and apply it to your IoT initiatives.

Kim Stevenson, CIO of hardware company Lenovo and former Chief Operating Officer of the Client, IoT, and Systems Architecture Group at Intel says CEOs expect their tech executives to re-imagine the customer experience, produce more than what’s expected for the bottom line, and create new services constantly to achieve growth. But in order to create new services, you’ll require…

A Vision of Industrial and Commercial Applications

Sure, wearable technology is useful and convenient; and yes, it’ll provide some peace of mind to manage your home security system remotely—the IoT has tremendous consumer appeal like that. But remember to think about the industrial and commercial applications of the IoT. Just look at agricultural giant John Deere, for example. It outfits its vehicles with a mobile platform to track fleet location, utilization and diagnostic data for each machine, streaming of production data, mobile monitoring, and weather and crop reporting in real time. John Deere was able to simplify its operations without compromising productivity by keeping…

An Eye Toward the Future

The IoT seems to find its way into countless sectors and industries. If you want to be a successful Chief IoT officer, you need to harness the IoT’s ubiquity for the future. One report estimates that 85% of jobs in the year 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. That means there will be an incredible amount of room in which you can innovate; new career paths mean new educational avenues, new skills, and new opportunities to experiment with expanding technology. But to create new products and services, you will need…

Data Fluency

The IoT has produced an abundance of data for innovators and enthusiasts to tinker with. But unless you know how to read and interpret them, they’ll be practically useless to you. What’s great about the IoT is that it not only produces user data, it also produces data on physical surroundings. Picked up by sensors, these environmental data add context to user data; this is big for companies that use geolocation systems, real-time streaming feeds, and social media platforms. Companies not only want to know about their users, they want to know about where, why, and how these users engage with their products or services.

Despite growing leaps and bounds over the last few years, the IoT still teems with potential for new uses. If you’re a creative problem solver with a knack for cutting-edge technologies, you could very well become the next great Chief IoT officer. But before you do, you need a foundational knowledge of IT and business, and how the two intersect. Tulane University’s online masters in information technology offers you advanced technical training and critical business know-how. Find out how you can apply today.