Skills shortages in mining have been more pronounced across the board in our 2018 research when compared to the other industries surveyed. Only 9 per cent stated that they have all the skills they need for a successful IIoT strategy, placing the majority of respondents in the IIoT laggard and IIoT starter categories in the maturity index. Unsurprisingly, 59 per cent of mining organisations stated that a lack of skills had caused a barrier to adoption of IIoT technologies.

Does the mining sector have the skills it needs for IoT? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

Does the mining sector have the skills it needs for IoT? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

Skills shortages can be seen across all levels of seniority but become more pronounced at implementation levels – 38 per cent reported that they required more skills to devise IIoT strategies, considerably less than the number of respondents that stated that they lacked the skills needed for effective delivery and maintenance (66 per cent). While we can’t entirely discount the potential bias of survey respondents (who were senior decision makers and therefore may consider themselves more skilled than they are in reality!) there is a clear pattern where those with both practical, hands-on experience of IIoT and the mining industry are in short supply.

Translating the theory of IIoT-enabled improvements into reality is clearly an area where improvements will need to be made.

A lack of available skills is proving to be a major inhibitor of IIoT in the mining sector

The research attempted to understand which skills are most in need. The high level of concern about data security seen elsewhere in our mining data also came through when exploring skills shortages. Of all the skills in demand, the greatest was over data security – 70 per cent said acquiring additional security skills was a top priority. The challenges to effectively interpret and use the data collected also came through with 55 per cent saying that they need more people with an understanding of analytics and data science.

The lack of skills sits at the root of most of the major issues acting as barriers in the mining industry today, and is something that will only gradually improve over the next few years as IIoT matures as a technology with it through upskilling and the introduction of talent from outside the industry. In the intervening time it will be even more important for mining companies to establish partnerships with IIoT service companies.

WHAT ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC SKILLS DOES YOUR ORGANISATION NEED TO DELIVER IIOT SOLUTIONS? (%)

70%

Security skills

55%

Data science skills

53%

Planning skills

45%

Management skills

42%

Technical support skills

24%

Database management skills

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT - INDUSTRIAL IOT ON LAND AND AT SEA: MINING

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