What Does the IoT Mean for My Business?
The Internet of Things, also known as the IoT, can be a confusing concept to a lot of new business owners and managers. Many of us will have heard the term at one point or another but might not know what it means or why it is so significant.
What is the Internet of Things?
In general, the IoT is a network of devices that collect and exchange data, often using information from each other to perform different functions. For example, a watch that tracks your current estimated level of health and your exercise routines can be part of the Internet of Things, just like a city-wide sensor system can. However, the most notable form of the Internet of Things is the Smart Home – a house where everything can be controlled from a single network using your phone or tablet.
The Internet of Things might seem like a novelty at first, but it has huge implications for hundreds of thousands of different business practices and strategies. Not only can it be used to automate certain tasks that would normally require an employee, but some businesses have been able to turn the Internet of Things into a central part of their business, tailoring the entire system to match the needs of individual repeat customers or first-time visitors.
What does it mean for my business?
The Internet of Things isn’t going to go away any time soon, and it isn’t a fad – we have already seen the Internet of Things become a standard in a lot of different product lines, from Smart Televisions to some portable speaker designs. With so many different products that can be attached to the Internet of Things in one way or another, almost any business can integrate it into their property, employee workstations, or even how customers interact with their products and services.
Reduced Operating Costs
One of the key benefits of the Internet of Things is the way that different tools can be integrated together, essentially giving you a combined way to control every single one at once. Through this, you can cut down on the operating costs involved significantly: for example, you might have lights that only turn on when an employee’s mobile device is detected or systems that can help you minimize how much stock is wasted.
Improved Remote Working
Working remotely is easier than ever for employees. The Internet of Things devices can make it simpler for managers or employers to track their employees and gather any data or work they need access to. Having this shared server system also makes it easier for each employee to stay connected and work as if they were in the same office.
Easier Data Analysis
Having so much data to work through can take a long time, but another major benefit of the Internet of Things is the fact that you can gather quite a lot of data from it – and, in most cases, you can personalize the data that you are actually getting. For example, a restaurant chain might want data on which ingredients have been used from the refrigerators, and a transport company might want to track their vehicles so that they know the employees aren’t borrowing them for personal use.
More Customer Information
The Internet of Things is involved in a lot of devices and product lines now, which means that customers are far more likely to already be using them. As a result, the IoT opens up many more options for collecting important data, especially in relation to customer preferences or habits. You might even be able to get more details on their purchasing behavior and the demand for certain products, which saves you from having to do costly market research.
Should I Use The Internet of Things?
If your business has even the smallest amount of connection with technology in general – even if it is just for employee workstations and computers – the Internet of Things can be an excellent way to try and nudge yourself towards gathering more data. If you use the IoT properly, you can apply it to almost anything: stock levels, employee details and performance, customer habits, vehicle tracking, or even the productivity of your current office technology and software.