Internet of Things (IoT) has been creating quite a buzz across every industry. Gartner predicts that there will about 25 billion IoT devices by the end of 2020 and that is about triple the total amount of people living on this planet.
The growth of this phenomenon is multiplying at great speed and you can expect around 4.9 billion connected devices by the end of this year.
These figures are huge and obviously no business can ignore their implications on the way everything works. IoT is going to be a big deal in the near future and this means a lot for your business.
Read on to get to know what it is all about and how it can transform your business for the better.
What Is IoT?
The name defines itself: it is the internet of things.
IoT is the next phase of advancement in connectivity where all devices, whether it is your watch or your furniture to aircraft parts, will be connected and will be able to send and receive data over the internet and/or communicate with each other.
IoT is an amalgamation of various technologies, such as sensors, networking, wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and intelligent software. There will be none or very less human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction avoiding cases of manual error.
IoT aims to create an ultra-connected world where any type of real-time operation can be made efficient. It is essentially a technical advancement that aims to create a smart and connected environment.
Benefits of IoT
The development of IoT opens up a whole new array of opportunities for a business of any size. Take a look at some of the potential benefits of IoT below:
- Better Insights
IoT is neither only confined to a small room of connected devices, nor is it a magic wand that makes all your objects smart enough to talk with you.
Instead, it is a great way to obtain real-time data on and insights into every direction. It is particularly helpful in providing the context for better product designing.
- Efficient Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management involves various activities that need to be constantly monitored. Decisions may have to be taken based on the specific context and real-time situations. It is clear to see how IoT could be of great help in such a scenario.
For instance, a shipping company can use smart home technology to see whether the receiver is inside the house or not and schedule the delivery accordingly. Such a company can also make use of IoT to provide early warnings in case of vehicle breakdowns during transit.
IoT can also provide you with the flexibility to cope with changes and accelerate the launch of new products and services.
- Efficient Real-Time Operations
A Microsoft report on IoT highlights the ability of it to drive efficient real-time operations that can drive an organization’s objectives forward on many levels. Connected smart machines and devices can provide greater business intelligence that can be rightly used to maximize the effectiveness of each activity carried out in your business.
For instance, scanners from a retail floor of a shopping mall can be connected with the analytics software running at the headquarters and at the data centers in the warehouse systems. This is to provide up-to-date information on the inventory and give alerts on particular cases, such as an alert for acquiring the required materials when running out of stocks.
A connected system of sensors and machinery can also make sure your factories, office buildings and warehouse shelves are always monitored and any chance for errors is immediately eliminated.
- Better Customer Engagement
You can furthermore exploit the capabilities of IoT to provide effective customer engagement. We all know how a simple mobile app can get you a long-term relationship with your customers and help you retain new customers effectively.
What if you could have constant connection with your customers, understand their needs accurately and be able to provide information tailored to each particular user?
You can achieve it all with the help of IoT. For instance, you can send out promotions straight to their mobile phones or smart watches whenever they walk past your store or business area. You can also use IoT to collaborate with your customers on a personal level.
- Improve Internal Communication
You can also optimize your everyday business activities and boost your productivity by using IoT since it improves your internal communication significantly. Online web apps, instant messaging, and real-time updates and notifications can all be easily incorporated in an IoT environment.
- New Business Opportunities
IoT does not just offer efficiency, it also presents a whole spectrum of opportunities where new businesses can grow and thrive. As a growing field, it has a lot of potentials to change the way how businesses and customers can be approached and thus gives way to new income streams.
IoT is a vast field and its benefits are yet to be completely mined. If you are interested in IoT to make your business more fruitful or have any creative ideas on how to make the best out of this growing trend, please do leave your valuable suggestions and feedback in the comment section.