Anticipating executive talent and leadership needs across industries from a burgeoning new trend—the Internet of Things (IoT)—Heidrick & Struggles has launched a new global specialty practice.
The IoT refers to the myriad implications of connecting everyday objects to the internet, allowing them to share information so that they can learn and adapt for efficiency and greater functionality. These digital networks range from global manufacturing processes to smart appliances in a consumer's home.
"One of the top strategic trends of the decade, the Internet of Things will lead to tremendous opportunity for businesses in every sector, leading to more customer-responsive products and services as well as to a more sustainable planet," said Krishnan Rajagopalan, Global Head of Practices for Heidrick & Struggles.
The installed base of connected devices—excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones—will grow to 26 billion units in 2020, according to Gartner Inc. That would be a nearly 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion units in 2009. The component cost of this technology phenomenon will approach $1.9 trillion. Additional growth is clearly envisioned as "ghost" devices with unused connectivity will be common.
In addition to technology providers, industries likely to see the greatest growth from the Internet of Things are manufacturing (especially automotive), energy and utilities, healthcare providers, insurance, and banking and securities.
Rajagopalan said. "We have assembled experts in leadership and talent from practices across our firm and in every region of the world with particular emphasis on sectors that will benefit most from the Internet of Things."
Heidrick & Struggles' clients already have reached out to the firm to help them attract and develop leaders in new and emerging roles leading digitally inter-connected innovation. "Organizations are looking for executives to lead emerging functions such as Industrial Internet, Distributed Mobility, Consumer Lifestyle Innovation and Global Digital. These are all roles that relate directly to the interconnected, adaptive-learning power of the Internet of Things," Rajagopalan said.
Sean Carroll, a partner in the firm's Global Technology Practice based in New York, and Immo Futterlieb, a partner in the Industrial Practice based in Munich, will lead this new specialty practice. "With our in-depth understanding of this emerging space, Heidrick & Struggles is uniquely positioned to provide strategic leadership advisory services and solutions to meet clients' talent and corporate culture needs relating to the Internet of Things," Rajagopalan said.