August 4, 2017

How the internet of things will change businesses in the future

A relatively new concept, the Internet of things (IoT) is slowly but surely making a place for itself in the business world. The internet of things may be in its infancy but it is fast changing everything, particularly in the workplace. There is no sign of IoT slowing down and if things remain the same for a few years, IoT may become the most important thing for businesses in the future.

So, what is the internet of things and how does it affect your business? Let’s find out.

Understanding the Internet of Things and The Effect It Has on Your Business

A hot topic in the digital business world, the Internet of things (IoT) refers to a system of devices connected to the web and to each other. This can include devices such as coffee makers, light switches, fridges, garage doors, wearable devices, tablets, smartphones, headphones, washing machines, etc.

If you look at the list above, you may think that the internet of things relates only to household devices. However, that is not true! The internet of things is applicable in the business world as well, where it enables improved business operations, smarter decisions and the designing/manufacturing of smarter products.

Now, the internet of things will add a considerable amount of data to your data stream. Given this, it is extremely important for you to ensure that you’re well-placed to manage the broad impact that IoT will have on your technical areas, business strategy and risk management.

IoT has made it possible for businesses to get access to a considerable amount of customer data without having to ask their customers for it. This data includes the online shopping and web browsing habits of the customers and how they connect to the web each day. In addition to providing you access to this valuable customer data, IoT can help to increase your knowledge about machines. For example, if they’re connected to the web, engines in vehicles can notify you about problems and the software can provide you with diagnostic reports which you can use to fine-tune your production.

Over time, the internet of things will provide you with many little pieces of data. By putting together these pieces of data/ information you receive, you can get a clear picture of your customers and/or the audience you want to target in the future. To ensure that the resources of your organization don’t go to waste, combine the IoT with tools that help you to improve your targeted efforts.

With the IoT and its effect on your business understood, it’s time to look at how it will change businesses in the future.

How IoT Will Change Businesses in The Future

It is predicted that by 2020, there will more than 25 billion web connected devices. And, this is just a conservative estimate. Some experts believe the number could be as high as 100 billion. Whether it is 25 billion or 100 billion, the number of devices that’ll be connected to the web by 2020 are significant enough for us to consider the impact IoT will have on businesses in the future.

The growing expenditure on IoT is a good indicator of the kind of the impact it will have on businesses in the future. In 2015, the amount spent by business on the internet of things rounded up to $700 billion. This number is expected to increase to $1.3 trillion by 2019. Additionally, by 2020, IoT is expected to generate an additional $344 billion in revenues and lower costs by $177 billion. In fact, some U.S based organizations are already seeing an improvement in performance due to augmented reality and internet of things.

With statistics relating to IoT in the back of our minds, it’s time to look at how it will directly lead to a difference in the way businesses view relationships, strategic decisions and data processing in the coming years.

Real Time-Data Will Revolutionize the Relationship with Suppliers

A few clicks and the internet will tell you everything that you’d want to know. After all, it was once called ‘the information highway’ for a reason. Today, the internet no longer tells you how to solve your problem. Instead, it solves them before you even know there’s a problem.

Before IoT, employees had to physically perform inspections, report inefficiencies, and notify the supplier about any issues in volume or quality. Thanks to IoT, that is no longer the case. Today, software connected to the web reports data in real-time, which allows businesses to know exactly when they will run out of supplies.  This in turn allows you to notify your supplier beforehand that you’re in need of additional inventory.

IoT Will Enable Improved Business Operations and Smarter Decisions

Contrary to popular belief, IoT isn’t just about smart devices. It is about smart sensors as well. Regardless of which industry your business belongs to, smart sensors can influence production in a big way.

With these sensors, you’ll be able to record the data and transfer it back to the cloud. Moreover, it’ll allow you to gather specific feedback on how your products and services are being used by customers and what their feelings are about your services. Also, with these insights, businesses can understand the future requirements of their customers.

IoT Will Enable Designing/ Manufacturing of Smarter Products

There was a time when phones were only useful for making calls. Over time, technological advancement and the internet of things helped to change this considerably. Today, there are only a few actions that your smart phone cannot perform. With IoT rising in popularity, the trend of designing/manufacturing smarter products will continue in the future as well.

The Internet of things (IoT) is set to change the face of how businesses are run in the future. And the future is now!

by Bobby J Davidson

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