The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained popularity around the globe, connecting millions of people. Today billions of sensors have shaped how we interact, how we do business, and how we live our daily lives. By 2025 it’s predicted that there will be over 75 billion connected devices. Today we have smart locks, appliances, and cars, but these inventions are only the beginning.
In the IoT world, 2018 has started off with a boom. Here are 5 ways that IoT solutions can benefit companies of all types.
- More Connected Devices Means Better Decisions
Various reports have predicted a huge increase in the number of digitally-connected devices within the next 5-10 years. But, the trend has already started. In 2017 IoT spending was expected to surpass $800 billion. By 2021 this number grows to $1.4 trillion. With so much money being pumped into this industry, it’s no surprise that companies have invested in these technologies to grow their own businesses or to enter the marketplace with the latest and greatest smart device.
More money going towards IoT means more sensors and data-collecting devices. The more devices that are collecting data, the bigger the big data pool becomes. Companies can use this data to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to operational and strategic decisions. By analyzing trends, metrics, and other data, business owners and leaders can make more informed decisions in determining the direction and future of their brand.
- Changing Business Models
IoT and connected devices have done more than collect huge amounts of data. This ever-growing technology has also allowed separate industries to merge and work together to create products and services that most benefit consumers. Ten years ago could you have imagined Google and the automotive industry working shoulder to shoulder? What about performance gear, wearable tech, and the health industry coming together as one?
In the past these now interconnected businesses had no place in industries outside of their own. But, thanks to IoT, these companies have reinvented and brought new ideas into other industries.
- Understand Customers Better
How companies are able to interact with and target their customers plays a huge role in their success. As more manufacturers design IoT-enabled devices, this opens the door for companies to have a direct connection with their customers, including their preferences and behavior. Even if a company doesn’t provide IoT devices, they can often use data collected from other device’s to better understand their consumer base.
This data can also be used to make customers an integral part in your business offering. Knowing that your product answers a specific need that your customers seek shows that your business is not only innovative, but is interested in helping the greater good.
If this data is used correctly, companies can better market to and communicate with their customers. This can lead to increased visibility, customer satisfaction, and referrals which could mean high sales.
- Easier Inventory Tracking
We’ve all heard about the smart home, but have you ever considered the smart warehouse? IoT has revolutionized how businesses track and manage their inventory. If your company utilizes storage or a warehouse, odds are you go through a very manual process to keep track of your inventory. Manual inventory tracking takes a lot of time and effort.
With the use of smart devices, inventory management can be automated. Sensors can be installed in your storage location to keep track of inventory changes on the fly. This allows you to free up your workers and put their time to better use.
- Improve Business Efficiency
The data collected by IoT devices can also be useful in improving how companies are run. We all know that time is money and if a business process can be done in a more effective way, it only makes sense to optimize the process. Using IoT, companies can introduce automation into their processes. Uber is a prime example of how IoT data can be used to improve and optimize their services.
Uber uses several algorithms that slice and dice data that is collected from smartphones. These algorithms are able to monitor traffic, the location of Uber drivers, as well as service demand. This real-time data allows Uber to better manage its supply of drivers as well as their location. In turn, the company can ensure it has drivers in hot spots as well as during top usage times such as weekends or late nights.
IoT is here to stay and if your company hasn’t invested in this ever growing technology, you’re missing out. The benefits above are only a small amount of good that IoT can bring to your company. The vast amount of data, automation, and optimization that IoT brings is well worth the small learning curve of understanding this technology.