With some analysts suggesting there will be as many as 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020, and with more and more companies investing and making an impact in smart technology; industries like healthcare, insurance and car manufacturers are using IoT to become more efficient, more productive and gaining competitive advantage.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term used to refer to a system of connected objects with the ability to transmit or record data via a network without the need for human interaction, as long as the stimulus has access to data, a network and an IP address.
The innovation has been allowed by developments made in wireless technologies in recent years, however, the advancements have been facilitated by fusion of operational and information technology which can be used to collect useful data for analysis.
This data can be used to improve marketing and customer service but it doesn’t stop there. By connecting users to environments the Internet of Things is slowly changing the way we systematically operate our businesses. From remote controlling production lines to monitoring supply chains, more and more businesses are harnessing the capabilities of connected technology to improve accuracy and efficiency too.
Better Consumer Engagement Through the IoT
Technologies such as heart rate monitors in runners’ watches, GPS tracking chips for pets or smart thermostats are all found in the Internet of Things. Each of these items record information about user behavior which businesses can then analyse to improve products and services.
By gaining more insight into consumer behavior they are able to create more targeted strategies regarding their product’s functionality and their advertising; talking to consumers about exactly what they do, when they do it. As consumers continue to feed into the Internet of Things, businesses are gaining more knowledge of how their key demographics are using items.
In addition, as the buying cycle is hastening because of the demand for instant gratification, more suppliers and logistics providers are harnessing IoT optimised technology to speed up their work, allowing businesses to serve their clients with more immediacy.
Using the IoT to Improve Business
As well as improving consumer engagement the IoT is transforming business operations too.
As the technology becomes more available it is likely that operational personnel, within businesses that are dependent upon the warehousing, production and storage of goods, will be using smart devices to assist in the itemisation, inventory and restocking of products.
IoT and an increased adoption of automated technologies will also make it possible to carry out more tasks in a fraction of the time with a growing amount of IoT advancements being aimed at making businesses, and their employees, more equipped to quickly complete their larger duties such as data analysis and management with a greater degree of accuracy. Using IoT tech requires less manpower thus increasing efficiency and enabling businesses to engage their workforce in more cognitively focused tasks.
In this context the IoT has the potential increase productivity, job satisfaction and the bottom line of certain businesses.
IoT in Conclusion
Going forward it is likely that we will see the Internet of Things applied more and more frequently from smart toothbrushes that monitor its user’s habits to coordinating traffic lights and public transport in ‘smart cities’.
What is certain is that the industry is now highly attuned to the importance of data as well as the consumer’s needs, and in the near future IoT will be transforming the way we conduct business and is likely to impact every sector.
There’s no I in IoT
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