In the modern world, almost every aspect of our lives is permeated by data. While smart watches track our caloric intake, steps, and heart rate, the smartphones in our pockets know our location, purchase preferences, our favorite holiday destinations, and perhaps the nitty-gritties of our personality.
These data insights strengthen the relationship between consumers and producers; brands can now customize product offerings according to the unique requirements of individual consumers, while customers can actively co-create products along with their favorite brands.
Ultimately, we are all transitioning into the world of IoT, which aids our day-to-day lives and keeps us connected to the things and people important to us.
In the business world, IoT devices record and transfer data to monitor important processes, generate intelligent insights, boost efficiency, and allow companies to take informed decisions.
IoT tells organizations what’s really happening, rather than what they assume or hope is happening. The IoT market – which includes hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecoms services – is expected to grow to $520 billion by 2021.
IoT adoption is clearly booming: whether you’re selling consumer products, developing buildings, or manufacturing biomedical devices, Internet of Things (IoT) can provide a competitive edge to your business.
That being said, you still need to evaluate whether your business is ready for IoT before jumping onto the bandwagon. Here are some questions you can ask, to determine whether IoT can help your business:
Do you need IoT
Do you currently rely on manual reporting of inventory for products you sell, service or maintain? Connected sensors make your business more efficient, by telling you when something may (or may not) need maintenance.
Could your products deliver a higher level of performance or efficiency by using key activities and details and optimizing automatically based on key insights? If monitoring details such as temperature, fuel efficiency, speed and information on any particular route would help you optimize workings, IoT can definitely help.
Would your customers have a better product experience with the solution you provide, if they had mobile access to your devices for customization, optimization and reporting? Customers are buying connected products, such as vacuum cleaners that alert them when a filter needs to be changed or ovens that let them know the pizza is done, wherever they may be.
If your end customer values the convenience offered by making your device connected, it’s worth taking a close look at IoT. Connected components like gauges and sensors are continually becoming available in varying sizes, form factors, capabilities, battery draw and more.
Is the information you are working with to make product and business decisions outdated or incomplete? Having real-time stats on items such as power consumption of streetlights within a municipality or fuel consumption of buses and vans can be a game-changer for public utilities and services.
If you are dealing with a large number of devices or a fleet of vehicles, small ongoing savings can easily justify the IoT investment over time.
In a nutshell
IoT is not for everyone, and there are many industries where the investment in IoT may not yet provide a meaningful return. If your service/solution doesn’t require real-time data from devices or products, IoT may not be right for your business. Also, if you operate a smaller scale business, or simply don’t have enough devices to track meaningfully, IoT is clearly not worth your time and investment.
However, if you’ve determined that IoT can successfully drive growth for your business, consider putting in place a strong IoT strategy to ensure a fruitful implementation. The first step is to take a broad look at your business workings and procedures and ask if having ongoing real data can benefit you.
If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for? Talk to experts to figure out the right IoT solution for your business!