Product managers wanting to step up their skills to capitalize on the IoT revolution should consider investing in relevant IoT training in 2019.
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Expectations from the world’s top global marketers are that the internet of things (IoT) will revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020 (I-scoop). As more and more companies are investing into IoT, they realize they need an effective IoT product strategy. Consequently, they also need product managers, who can help them with that. Therefore, it is no surprise that Indeed, one of the biggest international job websites, is currently advertising more than 2500 jobs in IoT product management in the US.
But how can product managers prepare to stay competitive and fully take advantage of the new opportunities available to them through IoT and IoE?
Product management needs to adapt to the IoT challenge
According to a 2018 survey carried out by Salesforce the customer experience is as important as the price or product for consumers and buyers (Salesforce Research 2018). Therefore, a requirement of the product manager is to champion the design of enjoyable and helpful experiences throughout the customer journey.
A huge benefit, which IoT offers product management through connected products and data analytics is more information about the user or customer experience (Jones 2018). However, the downside can be that product managers get overwhelmed by the amount of information and data the connected products provide (Dalin-Kaptzan 2017). Thus, product managers need to learn how to manage the data and insights effectively and be able to decide which data is the most valuable to collect.
Dirk Husselman (2016) points out:” Product managers need a solid understanding of how IoT implementation works with the overall product development lifecycle and with organizational strategy. They will need to understand competing connected products or connected systems and how they are related to their current initiatives. “
The industrial side will particularly benefit from the internet of everything. Companies are already applying the internet of everything to advance efficiency in areas that are critical in the future such as food production/agriculture, transportation and health care. Working as a product manager in one of those fields comes with challenges but provides a real purpose and can be highly rewarding.
Read my relevant blog article Overcoming the challenges of adopting IoT solutions in agriculture
How to transition into IoT product management
One of the top 10 IoT influencers named by IoT For All (Harner 2018) and R-Style lab (Klubnikin 2018) is product strategy expert Daniel Elizalde from San Francisco. He is also employed in a teaching position at Stanford University. Daniel predicts that as the internet of things continues to grow, the world will need IoT-savvy product managers.
IoT product management is a specialization on top of product management. Generally speaking, an IoT product manager is a product manager skilled in all areas of bringing an IoT product to market. However, the core responsibilities of product management still apply (Elizalde 2018).
As mentioned earlier opportunities in IoT are growing rapidly for product managers. Elizalde (2017) points out that one of the most frequent questions he gets is “How do I transition into IoT Product Management?” His article “5 essential steps for getting into IoT product management”, published by Mind the Product, provides some useful pointers to answer this question and a roadmap to go for.
One of his recommendations is to focus on an industry in which you already have significant expertise and knowledge. Somebody with a background in agriculture might be excited to hear that agriculture is one of the industries where IoT is having the biggest impact. If you want to take the next step and start looking for a job in IoT product management, you might find the following online course relevant to your preparation for your job search and interview.
Online training course: How to get a job in IoT product management
Further IoT training and certification for product managers
Currently there is no degree in IoT Product Management. However, there are ways that can help you upgrade your skills in this area.
Daniel Elizalde teaches in-person IoT training courses at Stanford University Stanford Continuing Studies. Currently his Product Management for the Internet of Things course is the course with the highest demand in the Stanford Continuing Studies history.
The first and only IoT Product Manager Certificate Program is provided by Daniel Elizalde as a self-paced online course. It is a 7 week online training program specifically designed for product managers who want to advance into the field of the Internet of Things.
Industries and companies are rapidly ramping up to take advantage of IoT. Therefore, product managers willing to adapt quickly and invest into upgrading their skills to become IoT savvy, will find more opportunities to grow their career and find jobs with greater responsibility. They will be able to work in areas of high impact within organizations and for future generations, whilst managing the most cutting-edge products and being part of the most innovative area in today’s technology.