Is the Internet of Things Useful for Your Business?

Forbes defines the Internet of Things as, “[referring] to sensors in all types of devices that can monitor and collect data from objects, in order to quickly communicate diverse information such as environmental conditions, vehicle motor speed, and whether or not street lamps are working.”

Startups and small businesses alike need to continually find new ways to stand out in order to compete with large scale corporations. This is particularly true when it comes to bringing Internet of Things (IoT) products to consumers and businesses. The Internet of Things is being used every day, even unknowingly. An example of this is an ATM machine that includes teller assistance via live stream video. This remote, cost-effective device allows a bank to better serve their customers on demand. We continue to see a rise in devices like this, thus it is important for businesses to utilize the IoT while it is in its prime.

Implementing IoT devices will allow companies to make smarter, trending products for the current market. The possibilities with IoT systems and concepts are seemingly endless.

Being able to connect more and more devices to the Internet will only provide businesses with a greater sense of intelligence, as well as the ability to complete objectives more efficiently. It is more than likely that a majority of small businesses will upgrade their equipment within the coming years, to ones that connect to the Internet.

Here are some examples of how Internet of Things can be implemented – through both principles and devices – and used to benefit various sectors:

  • Healthcare – Using various IoT devices, blood pressure and oxygen levels can now be measured at home, without a trip to the clinic. The information is sent in real time and doctors can even provide remote treatment or advice. By 2020, it is estimated that 646 million IoT devices will be used within the healthcare industry.
  • Hospitality – One in three hotel rooms have room control devices and 31% of hotels use next-generation door locks. We will only see a growth within this industry in particular; as practical devices like these give hotels a technical, sleek, and luxurious advantage.
  • Retail - Using smart labels make the check-out process easier in the store. Additionally, retail apps will read customer behavior to target ads or promotions and reach the right demographic.
  • Fashion – Similar to retail, IoT devices are used to inform customers when an item arrives in-store, making the purchasing process more efficient.
  • Human Resources – IoT software, such as smartphone applications allow remote working and collaboration. This type of software has seen a rise as company culture is predicted to become more remote.
  • Remote Security - To get rid of the panic of false alarms notifying the police, a smart system installed in the office sends either an email or text message to employees instead. This could soon make manual alarms obsolete!

Another example of an IoT device being utilized across multiple sectors is smart labeling for restocking purposes. In fact, small businesses have seen that restocking is seemingly effortless upon implanting the IoT product; the Amazon Dash makes restocking as simple as pushing a button.  In addition to the button, there is also a Replenishment Service for businesses. It is a combination of what the Dash Button can do with a product that takes advantage of the automatic reordering service. For example, smart devices would reorder batteries when they are running low.

Yet another example would be that of an environmental sensor that could detect things like fires, rainfall levels, temperature, humidity, and anything else that was once only imagined. Implementing this technology while a business is still evolving is a smart way to go, as it would give the business a technical head start. After all, these technologies are only here to stay.

It is predicted that the manufacturing sector in particular, will be an area with the most advanced IoT usage by the year 2020.Within the next five years, $6 trillion will be invested in IoT solutions as a whole.

Key tips for implementing various IoT ideas is to remember that your plan should be practical, useful, and affordable. If your product is going to be expensive, then it needs to be able to justify the cost. As IoT products gain popularity, overall prices may reduce but they ultimately remain a commercial opportunity. The Internet of Things will potentially alter all of the ways that various companies, across all sectors, can use and benefit from technology.

Allow CSW to inform you further about your options involving customizable software! Tell us all about your project and let us help you find a solution to help further your business today. Please call (312) 263-7704 or email us to learn more.