How the Internet of Things Impacts Businesses and What to Do With It

The place of IoT in business has changed tremendously over the past few years, shifting from a “should we?” conversation in organizations to a “when will we?” one. While the benefits of IoT are widely understood, IoT adoption is not without its challenges. Companies want the insights IoT analytics offers, but do they have the teams and resources to implement? An enterprise may have enjoyed the outcome of a small IoT pilot, but can it scale it for widespread use?

The use of IoT in business is clearly growing. By 2030, more than 90% of all enterprises will adopt IoT,

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the ever-growing web of devices ranging from smartphones to sensor-equipped manufacturing robots that are interconnected via the internet. Thanks to this interconnection, they can send and receive data, which facilitates a wide range of actions in both everyday life and in business.

The Beneficial Impact of IoT on Businesses in 2020

Considering the explosion of IoT-connected devices, perhaps you’re wondering, “How does IoT affect business?” The short answer is, “In every way.”

Accessibility to big data sets and the autonomous collection and exchange of data mean that it will become easier to gain insights into things like customer behaviors and product performance. IoT will also facilitate the continuous optimization of business processes and even impact employee engagement and performance. In certain industries, IoT in business is already making it possible for systems to autonomously execute transactions in supply chains when certain conditions have been met.

In short, IoT will allow businesses to better help their customers and manage their workforces, as well as improve their products, services and processes.

How to Leverage IoT in Your Business

When it comes to how to use the Internet of Things in businesses, the key thing to remember is that new levels of communication and interconnectedness have significant payoffs for almost any business. That’s why the way in which each business decides to leverage the IoT within its respective industry and sector is an important choice. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a highly customized method of gaining a deeper understanding of enhancing and executing specific business objectives.

With this in mind, there are several key points or benefits from the IoT that many businesses can explore for their own individual plans for improvement:

  • Understand big data: The collection and subsequent analysis of big data can offer insights into many factors that are essential to the effective running of a business. First and foremost, it can provide insights into all-important market trends as well as product performance. You can leverage these insights to help inform your short- and long-term business strategies.
  • Engage each and every customer or client: The IoT can provide you with data about each individual customer so you can deliver personalized service. And with IoT devices connecting you to your consumer base, you can analyze data to better understand each stage of your customers’ purchasing cycles — from how they research to how they buy and even use your products and/or services. This will enable you to create more focused and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Remote workforce: Research shows that remote work is on the rise. With the IoT, the ability for your remote workforce to be even more connected to everything from files to inventory equals greater productivity and a wider range of tasks that can be accomplished remotely.
  • Expand your presence: From smarter marketing campaigns keeping you connected to your clients to better communications with all members of your workforce, the IoT allows your business to expand its presence both with consumers and employees. You will achieve levels of flexibility and speed that empower your presence while it expands.

Take Off With the IoT

Clearly, with the IoT and its business applications set to expand, you need an IT and communications partner that can guide you through the plethora of cutting-edge innovations so you can successfully leverage this new technology and the resulting data into your business model. That’s why you want Consolidated Technologies, Inc. looking to the future with your business in mind. We don’t just offer tech solutions — we understand the challenges of your business in order to deliver next-generation vision!

Internet of Business says:

Almost every aspect of our lives now generates data. Smart watches track each step we take and sense each beat of our heart. The smartphones in our pockets know our location at any moment, our hobbies, where we’re going on holiday, and what we’re considering buying.

Some of these insights benefit the customer, and some the product maker. Ultimately, we are all emerging into an Internet of Things (IoT) world that, for the most part, benefits everyone – aiding our day-to-day lives and keeping us connected to the things and people that are important to us.

The use of such technology in the business world is no different. IoT devices record and transfer data to monitor important processes, give us new insights, boost efficiency, and allow companies to make more informed decisions.

They tell organisations what’s really happening, rather than what they assume or hope is happening. And the reams of data they gather are grist to the mill for analytics and AI systems, which can identify patterns of use or behaviour that were previously hidden.

1 | Improved business insights & customer experience

Connected equipment in manufacturing, aviation, the supply chain, agriculture, healthcare, and many other industries, is creating more data streams and analytics potential, meaning that companies are gaining much greater insights into their business operations and how their customers use their products or services.

In the US, Amazon is employing advanced solution for its own physical Amazon Go store: its system detects products that have been moved, places them in a virtual cart, and knows once customers have left the premises.

2 | Cost & downtime reductions

One of the benefits of these new insights is often a reduction in operational expenditure and downtime.

For example, the rapid emergence of digital twin technology – digital models of physical assets built from real-time data, either in pure data form or as explodable 3D representations – is a key competitive differentiator in industrial IoT applications.

3 | Efficiency & productivity gains

By connecting a business’s key processes, leaders can more easily identify ways to boost efficiency and productivity.

Employees at Ford’s Valencia Engine Assembly Plant in Spain are using harness equipped with body-tracking technology. The pilot system, created by Ford and the Instituto Biomecánica de Valencia, has involved 70 employees in 21 work areas.

The technology is similar to the motion-tracking systems that record how athletes sprint or turn, or actors move and speak. Ford has been using the same type of technology to design less physically stressful workstations to enhance its manufacturing processes.

By accurately tracking its workers’ movements, Ford is enabling data-driven changes to its vehicle production processes, making them safer and more efficient.

The same principles can be applied to machines to identify bottlenecks or problems in production lines, however small.

4 | Asset tracking & waste reduction

Closely linked to efficiency and productivity is the drive to reduce waste, to which IoT tracking is integral.

5 | New business models

While the most obvious use cases for the IoT revolve around efficiency, productivity, and process monitoring, we’re increasingly seeing companies recognise the scope for it to provide them with information about their customers and how they use their products.

IOT is connected with cars, coffee machines, trains, and all manner of other smart things can feed usage data back to their manufacturers and operators, informing the services they build around those products.

Few of these things were originally designed to be connected, but the IoT can add new value to them, and help improve their future design via the reams of data gathered about their real-world usage.

Companies that successfully integrate the IoT into their products in a way that benefits both the customer and their own internal processes stand to reap huge benefits.

The IoT also allows organisations to move away from conventional business models to new revenue streams. The data acquired often holds value in itself, but, more significantly, customers can be offered subscription-based services that draw on the connected nature of the company’s products, often offsetting the initial cost of entry.

As Amazon has proved in the consumer world, products that provide businesses with valuable data can enable them to offer the same products at reduced costs, opening up new markets by replacing revenue from customers’ capital expenditure (capex) with operational expenditure (opex), via subscriptions.

Beyond IoT

These are just some of the gains to be had from implementing IoT technology as part of a wider digital transformation strategy. When combined with other emerging technology, such as AI, VR, AR, robotics, and blockchain (in terms of smart contracts and supply chains), businesses are able to unlock previously untapped revenue, gain new competitive advantages, create new training methods, and produce higher quality products and services.

From managing inventories to improving personalised shopping experiences and assisting in data mining, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) is transforming how people do business today. 

Some vital IoT and AI statistics:

  • Every second, 127 new IoT devices connect to the internet. (Source: McKinsey Global Institute)
  • The international IoT market has crossed worth of  $1.7T in 2019. (Source: CBI Insights)
  • AI can boost business output by up to 40%. ( Source: Accenture)
  • 41% of consumers deem AI will improve their lives in some way. (Source: Strategy Analytics)

After that, you can safely say that IoT and AI have found their way into the heart of businesses.