How the Internet of Things Can Improve Your Business
Forbes describes the Internet of Things as, “connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other)... This also applies to components of machines, for example, a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig."
Startups and small businesses alike need to continually find new ways to stand out in order to compete with large scale corporations. This is particularly true when it comes to bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) to consumers. The Internet of Things is being used every day, even unknowingly. An example of this is an ATM machine that includes teller assistance via live stream video. This remote, cost-effective device allows a bank to better serve their customers on demand.
We continue to see a rise in devices like this, thus it is important for businesses to utilize the IoT while it is in its prime.
Implementing IoT devices will allow companies to make smarter, trending products for the current market. The possibilities with IoT systems (such as Azure IoT) and concepts are seemingly endless.
Being able to connect more and more devices to the Internet will only provide businesses with a greater sense of intelligence, as well as the ability to complete objectives more efficiently. It is more than likely that a majority of small businesses will upgrade their equipment with wireless connectivity within the coming years.
Here are some examples of how the Internet of Things can be implemented – through both principles and devices – and used to benefit various sectors:
- Healthcare – Using various IoT devices, blood pressure and oxygen levels can now be measured at home, without a trip to the clinic. The information is sent in real-time and doctors can even provide remote treatment or advice. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 646 million IoT devices will be used in healthcare alone.
- Hospitality – One in three hotel rooms have room control devices and 31% of hotels use next-generation door locks. We will only see growth within this industry in particular; as practical devices like these give hotels a technical, sleek, and luxurious advantage.
- Retail - Using smart labels make the check-out process easier in the store. Additionally, retail apps will read customer behavior to target ads or promotions and reach the right demographic.
- Fashion – Similar to retail, IoT devices are used to inform customers when an item arrives in-store, making the purchasing process more efficient.
- Human Resources – IoT software, such as smartphone applications allow remote working and collaboration. This type of software has seen a rise as company culture is predicted to become more remote.
- Remote Security - To get rid of the panic of false alarms notifying the police, a smart system installed in the office sends either an email or text message to employees instead. This could soon make manual alarms obsolete!
Another example of an IoT device being utilized across multiple sectors is smart labeling for restocking purposes. In fact, small businesses have seen that restocking is seemingly effortless upon implanting the IoT product; the Amazon Dash makes restocking as simple as pushing a button. In addition to the button, there is also a Replenishment Service for businesses. It is a combination of what the Dash Button can do with a product that takes advantage of the automatic reordering service. For example, smart devices would reorder batteries when they are running low.
Yet another example would be that of an environmental sensor that could detect things like fires, rainfall levels, temperature, humidity, and anything else that was once only imagined. Implementing this technology while a business is still evolving is a smart way to go, as it would give the business a technical head start. After all, these technologies are only here to stay.
The manufacturing sector is predicted to be an area with the most advanced IoT usage by the year 2020. In the next five years, 6-trillion dollars will be invested in IoT solutions as a whole.
Key tips for implementing various IoT ideas is to remember that your plan should be practical, useful, and affordable. If your product is going to be expensive, then it needs to be able to justify the cost. As IoT products gain popularity, overall prices may reduce but they ultimately remain a commercial opportunity. The Internet of Things will potentially alter every way that companies, across all sectors, can and will use or benefit from technology.
Let CSW provide you with further options in how the Internet of Things could be a part of your business plan. Tell us all about your project and let us help you find a solution to help further your business today. Please call (312) 263-7704 or email us to learn more.