What Is IoT And How Can It Change Your Business?
Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that connects everyday devices together to create a smooth flow of information, so we can get more value from each device. In other words, IoT refers to all smart gadgets that are connected to each other through a single network, so information can flow freely between them.
A good example of IoT in everyday life is the smart refrigerator. You can program it in the IoT system in such a way that when your milk quantity in the refrigerator goes below a certain threshold level, the refrigerator can directly communicate with your smartphone and order it online. This way, you’ll never run out of milk.
Sounds futuristic? Not really because IoT is entering our lives in a big way. A study by Gartner shows that the number of interconnected devices will touch 13.5 billion by 2020. In fact, many companies are working to implement IoT using different software, platforms, sensors and communication protocols, so it won’t be long before we use it.
Will IoT affect businesses too? Most definitely as it’ll be encompassing all aspects of our society.
So, here’s a look at how IoT can possibly impact your business.
Currently, most companies track their inventory through barcodes. When IoT becomes a part of inventory management, the whole tracking process will become so intuitive that you won’t have to think about it at all. Barcodes will be updated instantly and stocking will be done automatically based on the current inventory levels. Best part, you can tap into these metrics at any time you want.
Overall, we can expect a faster lifestyle with IoT as everything from traffic lights to your alarm clocks will be connected. Also, everything will be instant and automatic.
From an organization’s standpoint, your employees will be more productive as commute times will be shortened. If you’re in the business of delivering or transport, there’s a chance you’ll be able to send your deliver faster and in a more efficient manner.
On the flip side though, the margin of error excused from customers will be reduced as consumers will expect better and faster service from you.
Machine maintenance will be easier than ever before. In fact, this entire process will be proactive, so you can address issues even before they occur. For example, let’s say you have a manufacturing plant in Sacramento while you’re headquartered in Chicago. You no longer need a dedicated team to monitor the health of machines and send a report to you periodically.
Instead, the IoT system will constantly look for certain metrics in every machine’s performance. This data will be collected many times a day, depending on how you set it up. The system will compare the metrics with the data and will communicate even the smallest of changes to you. This way, you can know if a machine is failing long before it crashes, so there will be little to no downtime for you.
Probably, the one thing that may be a spot of bother with IoT is the data overload. You’ll be swarmed with all kinds of data coming from sensors, platforms, machines and more. So, you need a proper system to store and manage this data. Also, you’ll need help with respect to setting up the infrastructure, managing these sweeping changes and getting the whole IoT process going. All this will require resources in the form of money, time and effort. But the results will be worth the investment.
In short, IoT is the next big wave of technology that will change the way we live, communicate and do business. To get ahead of this next wave, you need an experienced IT partner like Alpen Technology Group to help you plan ahead and create a custom road map to utilize IoT to move your business forward.