It may be an obvious statement, but business, as it is today, is drastically different than it was 20, 10, even 5 years ago.
Consumers have changed, as well as businesses, employees, and demands from all sides. Data is a big business now, and finding the best, most cost-effective ways to learn from that data has become a driving force for both enterprise companies and SMBs that want to stay ahead of the curve.
With so much of the tech news surrounding privacy and other issues regarding AI and machine learning, it’s easy to forget that the same tech that can seem scary or a bit intimidating is being used day in and day out to improve the lives of individuals and businesses across the globe.
Take the Internet of Things, for example. It’s been around for quite a while but didn’t get its own term until 1999 or so. At a very base level, the IoT is taking the power of the internet and embedding it in electronics and other computer-based systems to communicate with other devices connected to the network.
Like all things technology, the IoT has gained massive momentum in the past years and in 2019 and beyond we should expect the IoT to have a growing presence in enterprise and SMB operations.
Here are 5 ways the Internet of Things is redefining business in 2019
1. End-user products – If a business isn’t serving its customers then it’s not doing its job. The same can be said for household products and other gadgets that gain connectivity through the Internet of Things.
IoT smart devices in homes give companies better insights into how people are using their products, but also allows owners to have more control over their products.
Even things as simple as lightbulbs can be integrated into a smart system to save money on utility bills without keeping you in the dark. Now, expand that to an office setting as TechRepublic notes to help with things like HVAC and lighting and you have a practical office use that isn’t overly difficult to institute.
2. Staff navigation to improve safety in manufacturing – On the flip-side of the coin, IoT systems can be used by companies in the manufacturing sector to improve the safety of their employees.
For something like this, let’s look at a real-use case. Navigine, a company that specializes in indoor navigation through IoT, sets up sensors and other monitoring tools to improve the efficiency in a manufacturing facility.
After Navigine’s system was installed, monitoring, and tweaked, the facility lowered work-related incidents and improved efficiency by 20%.
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3. Enterprise efficiency in the office – As you’ll see from most of this list, efficiency is the name of the game.
Like the manufacturing sector, the corporate setting can be improved upon by using IoT related devices to track employee data, track resources that are used, and lessen the amount of monotonous tasks that can be associated with the “daily grind”.
Due to the connective nature of smart devices and other IoT integrations that relay data, enterprise companies can roll-out systems in a logical way that doesn’t interrupt current workflow while creating a network that will build upon itself and only improve as more data is made available.
In 2017, one report from OfficeTeam noted that office employees spent enough time off-task to costs businesses over $15 billion. While the IoT could free up more time for shenanigans, the data that is made available can help track these downtimes and bottlenecks to most effectively manage the workflow issues.
4. Agriculture and the IoT – Here’s a curveball for you. One sector the Internet of Things is finding a home is one of the oldest professions – farming, livestock, and other things of that
Smart sensors and other devices of the sort can be used to monitor livestock movements, feeding tables, temperature, rainfall, you name it. This data can give owners a better look at conditions for certain crops or even help with insurance claims which makes the benefits of a connected farm that much greater.
Machina Research even sees the revenue in the sector seeing a compound annual growth rate of 22% by 2024. As our world continues to change, and global warming being a real threat, having a better understanding of our growing environments could prove key.
As for number 5, it really is a combination of everything mentioned above
The Internet of Things has and will continue to improve almost all aspects of business in 2019 by providing a more holistic view of how businesses conduct, well, business.
Data is the name of the game and smart devices and other systems that work together to provide insights will give businesses of all sizes more control of their operations. Combine this with the many advancements in AI and machine learning and the benefits of the Internet of Things really starts to make itself clear.
Whether it is improved safety, efficiency, or product management, IoT can provide the data to make it happen.