The skill set that a PC technician brings, to an IoT table, is based in “System Integration”.
Wikipedia defines System Integration as:
the process of bringing together the component sub-systems into one
system (an aggregation of subsystems cooperating so that the system is
able to deliver the overarching functionality) and ensuring that the
subsystems function together as a system and in information technology
as the process of linking together different computing systems and
software applications physically or functionally, to act as a
PC techs building generalized contemporary machines need not to get in to the weeds of the most basic of system integration issues, because contemporary off-the-shelf components have been engineered to integrate into an ever-increasing range of HW/SW. So, a PC tech who is adept at building computers for general purposes could expect to contribute to an IoT system architecture in very general ways.
at Stage-1, this tech could assess the limitations of processing power available on each IoT device, creating data for a system architect to analyze when evaluating options for processing data at each sensor.
At Stage-2, the tech could implement intelligent gateways, building on basic gateway functionality by adding such capabilities as analytics and malware protection. These systems enable the analysis of data streams in real time, rendering the information in a form that is human consumable.
At Stage-3, the tech could build fast, easy to deploy, remotely manageable computers for machine learning at the edge: to scan for anomalies, identify impending maintenance problems and to provide visualization and presentation capabilities with dashboards, maps, or graphs.
At Stage-4, if the data center is on premise, the tech could provide physical support for building a network as well as physical maintenance, software installations and some configuration. Otherwise, the tech’s experience is limited to software installations and some configuration.
Generally, the tech’s understanding of operating conditions of computers could help operations design more efficient maintenance cycle sand improve product storage.
On the other hand, PC techs building specialized machines necessarily need some level of understanding of system integration issues. A tech who is adept at building Digital Audio Workstations will be knowledgeable about the process (evaluating data-throughput of HW/SW) of finding bottle-necks with in the data flow of audio signals through a computer system. To build a Digital Audio Workstation that meets user requirement the tech needs to understand how and why each of the computer’s components work together and affect overall system performance. So, the skill set listed in the OP
Faster processors with more cache are preferable to higher core counts
becomes even more relevant than those of the generalist:
If one thinks of an entire IoT network as a single computer with decentralized components, it is not difficult to see the parallel between it, and a specialized computer system built for a singular task/workflow.
IoT devices are built to do only a fixed set of key jobs repeatedly, like, for instance, the processors, chipsets, hard drives, RAM, and audio/graphic cards of a Digital Audio Workstation. The IoT system architect’s job is many times more complicated than the PC tech’s, but they both face a similar set of circumstances in that they both need to integrate their respective components into a cohesive efficient system.
To do that each needs to understand the function, properties and character of their respective components deeply. It is that process of building a fundamental understanding of components; that process of understanding how each component works with the others and the system as a whole; that process of acquiring data and efficiently shuttling it through hardware, software and algorithms to produce human consumable information; it is that process-in addition to a generalist’s skill set-that a PC tech-adept at building specialized computer systems-can apply to building and maintaining an IoT network.
So, if you accept that premise, a tech who can build specialized PCs can contribute at each of the 4 stages reference in the article, with component selection and integration, as well as with the generalist skill set referenced above