8 Ways The Internet of Things (IoT) Can Help Grow Your Business
By Greg Wilson
We live in a golden era where every device we use is connected to the internet in one way or another. The network of these connected devices is what we can call the Internet of Things.
IoT impacts the way we live our lives and make various aspects of our life smarter and more efficient. With smart technology being cheaper, we are now seeing more devices built with wireless connectivity embedded. Modern-day IT companies can use IoT technology to make their business operations more streamlined and improve efficiency in ways that were not possible earlier. Here are a few ways how IoT can grow your business today:
1) Improved business insights and customer behavior
Connected equipment in manufacturing, aviation, agriculture, healthcare, supply chain, and many other industries create more data streams and analytics potential. This means that companies are now gaining much greater insights about their day-to-day business operations and learning more about how their customers use their products or services.
In many of the cases, this has been enabled by cloud platforms provided by Microsoft Azure, IBM, AWS, and Google. But there is also a shift towards edge computing in some industries to reduce latency introduced by relying on third-party data centers.
2) Improved inventory management
The use of IoT will dramatically improve small businesses’ ability to monitor and manage their inventory process. Smart devices and IoT are now making it possible to automatically track and collect items and make overall inventory management and logistics more efficient. This whole comprehensive method is more productive than the cumbersome and expensive task where warehouse workers manually do the scanning and tracking of inventory piece one at a time
3) Personalized information and actions
IoT also brings together personal data so that they can deliver a more personalized experience to their customers.
In this way, E-Commerce retailers can leverage the analytics collected based on the customer’s behavior to offer more personalized information and actions. A good example fo this is where there is a car connected, and the driver receives offers that are tailored specifically to him or her. Alternatively, a family with a smart refrigerator can also receive the same tailored experience based on their personal preferences.
4) Efficiency and productivity gains
By connecting a business’s key processes, leaders can easily identify ways to boost efficiency and increase productivity. Thanks to these gains, companies expect that the revenues may get a boost by up to $154 million due to industrial IoT development, according to a recent report by Inmarsat.
Employees at Ford in Spain use a special suit equipped with Ford’s body tracking technology in partnership with Instituto Biomecanica de Valencia. The experiment involves 70 employees in 24 working departments.
The technology works similarly to motion taking systems that record how athletes sprint on turn or actors move and speak. Ford has been using the same technology to design a less physically stressful workstation to boost its manufacturing processes.
By accurately tracking the workers’ movement, it enables data-driven changes to its vehicle production processes, making them safer and more efficient.
5) Asset tracking and waste reduction
Closely linked to efficiency and productivity are the drives to reduce waste for which IoT tracking is integral. The growing use of IoT, with smart devices and sensors, can reduce unnecessary expenses that occur due to operational inefficiencies in the dress collection process. The urban waste collection process is also quite complex and time-consuming as well as resource-consuming
Therefore, using route optimization where municipalities or waste management companies work together and use smart dumpsters can transmit real-time data to waste collectors. The data then can be processed by the IoT company, which can select the best routes for waste collectors with areas that need a cleanup on priority. This results in an efficient pickup process that is more productive so that it can save fuel and workforce costs.
6) Remote working
Remote working is undoubtedly a trend that is becoming more and more popular as the days go by. For almost a decade, the possibility of working from home is more feasible for workers everywhere, and all the credit goes to development in the IoT.
IoT brings efficiency and accessibility on a level that was never seen before, and this has allowed remote working to be a popular option in today’s modern society. With IoT performing many different aspects of standard work practices, it is no surprise that remote working opportunities are flourishing.
7) Improved business security
IoT technology can be used to boost the security of your commercial office building in multiple ways. For example, wireless CCTV systems can be installed everywhere on your business premises and provide you with 24/7 live feed direct to your mobile devices. Many research data suggests that security cameras can be a handy tool against criminals. Security cameras can also come in handy to monetize star performance, and also it lowers the risk of employee theft.
Wireless alarm systems are also another affordable way to improve your business security and protect your equipment. An added benefit of installing IoT based security devices is that they may reduce the cost of your business liability insurance. Today, all the companies should take advantage of IoT devices that can monitor their buildings, boost their workplace security, and can negotiate lower insurance premiums.
8) New business models
While most of the use cases for IoT lies mainly inefficient productivity and process monitoring, and many companies recognized the scope for it to provide them with information about their customers in how they use their products.
We already have been saying internet-connected cars, coffee machines, trains, and all manner of other smart things that can feed used data back to the manufacturers and operators to build services around those products.
While few of these things were initially designed to be connected but added in IoT, there is a new value to them. These can also help improve the future design wire, the heaps of data gathered from real-world usage.
Companies that successfully can integrate IoT with their products have used benefits ahead in the future. It also allows the organization to shift the focus from conventional business models to new revenue streams. The data acquired from the IoT products hold much value. However, more significantly, customers can be given the option to purchase subscription-based services that offer customers a more personalized and tailored experience.