So, What is Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is the network of various internet-connected things that have inbuilt sensors, electronics, or other technology for connecting and exchanging data with other devices over the Internet. These devices range from household objects to enterprise assets, agriculture tools to manufacturing equipment, and the list goes on.
It is worth noting that the number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2020 and continue to reach 22 billion by 2025.
The statistics clearly say that IoT is going to rule the business world. The combination of sensors, communication devices, analytics, cloud and low-cost computing is going to create a mesh of interconnected solutions and products that would bring a new age of automation amongst businesses.
How are Businesses Adopting it?
As IoT development continues to evolve, businesses, whether small or large, will find new horizons to embed tech, ramp up productivity, and increase efficiency. In fact, many businesses or enterprises have started to step into the digital world with IoT. For example, General Tools, a company specialized in manufacturing a full line of precision instruments, electronics, and measurement tools, has leveraged IoT to build a ToolSmart application. This mobile app finishes customer project with fine precision and on time & within budget. The app enabled Bluetooth connected tools capture data and update customers about the project completion time and cost over the fly. This is bringing about a revolution in making measuring jobs smarter.
Other industry areas adopting IoT include:
Banks are leveraging IoT technology to bring on-demand services closer to customers through kiosks, resulting in increased accessibility of services.
Agriculture machinery companies are applying IoT to keep track on important agricultural parameters like moisture levels, air, and soil temperature, and convey the collected data to farmers. Utilizing such tools helps farmers to do precision farming which greatly increases the efficiency of fertilizers and produces good yield.
The medical sector is also employing IoT based wearable devices to gather data, monitor patient’s health, and make their lives safer.
Microsoft’s annual IoT Signals report states that 94% companies that have adopted IoT technology have started getting return on their investments.
No doubt that IoT is providing businesses with opportunities to achieve operational efficiency, improve customer experience, and build new revenue streams.
How IoT is Shaping the Future of Business
Building end-to-end systems and a smart range of products is critical in this digital era. While there are a great number of ways for businesses to include IoT devices in their business model, there are five specific advantages that are particularly appealing to a majority of companies, regardless of their industry.
Asset Tracking and Inventory Management
For businesses that face problems in inventory tracking and management, applying IoT is a real game-changer. IoT applications allow companies with warehouses and storage units to monitor and track inventory by means of some automatic control points operated by smart devices. This helps a lot to companies in terms of reducing manpower who are excessively engaged in inventory-related matter. In a similar manner, asset tracking when done with IoT can help businesses catch faulty assets or assets that went missing during transportation.
In addition, combining IoT products with analytics can prevent theft scenarios. For example, Amazon is using Wi-Fi Robots that scan QR codes on its wide range of products and track order, hence getting an uptick in shipping capacity.
The Forbes Insights Survey finds that business areas that have seen new avenues of growth include predictive maintenance, automatic product upgrades, and asset tracking. A suite of sensors located in production systems, assembly lines, storage units, and vehicles produces data streams that help businesses understand the patterns in which a user connects with the device. As massive amount of data keeps flowing in from data points, sensors, IoT applications, this real-time information help companies get insight into productivity and performance standpoint. Thus, it is learning from data and its patterns helps organizations to innovate and grow in this cut-throat competition.
For example, Fitbits and smart watches communicate data through sensors and provide us with the most precise information basis our needs.
As organizations are learning from a large amount of data, they can ultimately build marketing strategies on the basis of processed data to meet customer requirements. Through internet-connected devices, organizations can obtain a multi-dimensional view of customers’ preferences. After learning the preferences, they can build campaigns that yield results as per the set marketing goals. On top of that, IoT based applications segment customer base, generate customized offers to uplift customer satisfaction rate, and enhance customer experience.
For example, a company known as Big Ass Fans have built IoT based fans comprising light, speed and temperature sensors. By learning about the customer preferences, the company sets its fans’ speed and stands out from other ceiling fans brands on the market.
Harnessing Real-Time Insights
In the current times, businesses work on data. The more data they have, the more informed decisions they will make. With IoT devices, they can obtain real-time data, which in turn, helps them gain visibility into what’s happening inside. Like, retailers can obtain insight about customer behaviors and their choices and can fill in inventory or stock and maximize profit with efficient sales monitoring in place. Another key point is that IoT can work in sync with systems and smart cameras to prevent defects and respond to the issues quickly. For example, some airports are employing smart cameras inbuilt with sensors to address issues like broken escalators, unhygienic washrooms and bottlenecks within corridors.
Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Enterprises are always on the lookout to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility, and productivity. The proliferation of IoT devices across various parts of the organization means digitization of process flows, which further helps reduce costs and increase time to market. Efficiency can be realized as data flows in from sensors and is processed and further changes are deployed without human involvement. For instance, vehicles are rerouted to the most optimal route to make travel faster. Drones may be deployed over an oil field to monitor the pipelines and identify issues even before humans reach them.
The Future is Smart for Businesses
For businesses, IoT is a future-proof technology that brings more opportunities in terms of optimizing their business operations and increasing profit. By bringing data and intelligence together, it is making possible for businesses to drive transformation. If you are ready to enable customization across your business processes and improve customer experience, IoT development with advanced analytics and cloud is the profound pick. At Icreon, we’re here to help you navigate this shift by examining your challenges and applying IoT to make the future more promising for your business.