The Internet of Things will require a new breed of Product Manager—one who can incorporate the 5 layers of the IoT technology stack into their product strategy and roadmap. In this article, you’ll gain a high-level understanding of these 5 layers and what it takes to manage a product for the Internet of Things.
It’s estimated that 15 billion devices are already connected to the Internet. By 2020, that figure will rise to over 50 billion connected devices. This is the Internet of Things (IoT), the latest industrial revolution that will have an enormous impact on business and daily life. Each industrial revolution has created the need for a new kind of engineer who can implement, maintain, and innovate on its new technologies.
The First Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries gave birth to the field of Mechanical Engineering. As electrification began to spread across the world during the Second Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century, universities began to offer programs in Electrical Engineering for the first time. The same need emerged in the 1960s and 1970s with the Digital Revolution (the Third Industrial Revolution). The rapid explosion of the computer industry gave birth to new degrees in Computer Science.
The Internet of Things is considered by many to be the 4th Industrial Revolution. But unlike the first three, it is not a new technology—it is a new way of combining existing technologies. As a result, it will not require a new kind of engineer. But it will require a new kind of Product Manager. Today, very few Product Managers understand how an IoT product works, both as a whole and within each layer. This understanding is critical for creating IoT product strategies and guiding the creation of IoT solutions.
The rise of the IoT will require a new generation of highly skilled IoT Product Managers. So I challenge you Product Managers to get ready to deliver what the world needs from you.