Maximizing IoT in Business
What is the IoT?
20.4 billion internet-connected “things” are expected to be in use by 2020.1 The IoT (Internet of Things) is a connected network of different systems in a company using smart devices. IoT enables companies to collect data and improve their efficiency in a multitude of areas. IoT in business can be used for simple tasks such as monitoring energy efficiency with temperature or light sensors. It can also be implemented in intricate manufacturing processes to manage and control the entire production line from product creation to delivery. The applications of IoT can get complex very quickly. Therefore, it is important to understand the best way to take advantage of an IoT system in your business.
Appoint An IoT Leader
According to cio.com, it is essential to appoint a dedicated IoT leader. This person should understand IoT and its specific complexities. You might need to outsource for someone with experience and knowledge to ensure your IoT strategy. “This could be a chief IoT officer or other position who has the appropriate authority to drive the needed change in the organization,” Sandler says. “This leader also becomes critical in setting the strategy and ensuring that even as technology changes — as it does so fast in this space — you stay true to your strategy.” That doesn’t mean individual IoT roles should be autonomous. Delegating tasks to the most qualified people and keeping everyone in the loop is a key to success.2
According to Inc., 57% of IoT spending will come from businesses this year. There are five areas of IoT trends that are being developed to improve companies’ bottom-line:
Providing workers with smart equipment that can transmit data can be beneficial for certain industries. Smart glasses are one example. According to Dayna Grayson, a partner with New Enterprise Associates in Washington, D.C., they will be huge for certain heavy industries. Not only will they record what wearers are seeing, but in a manufacturing environment, a mechanic could receive diagnostic data from such eyewear. They might even summon experts for certain problems.1
IoT connected systems are now allowing manufacturers to interface in real time with all the processes used in its business system from start to finish. Connected manufacturers are continuously tracking their productivity from suppliers to the assembly line through delivery. These systems are predicting issues and fixing them before they even occur. (To read more about Smart Manufacturing, see our previous post)
Smart sensors are able to track inventory and reorder products when necessary. This automated inventory management will save time and money for companies and reduce errors.
IoT smart lighting systems can completely control the atmosphere in an office space. From actual temperature to light color temperature, these systems provide the ability to create a more comfortable setting for employees. (To read more about Smart Lighting and its many possibilities, see our previous post)
Products can be tracked anywhere in the shipping process from the manufacturer to the end destination. Tracking reduces lost packages, in-transit damage, and allows customers to access the location information as well.2
The overall goal of IoT is to improve your business. Improvements come through cost-saving energy efficiency, enhanced employee productivity, increased manufacturing productivity and in many other areas of business. According to Energy Manager Today, “companies must also build a culture of secure IoT and leverage IoT experience from the outside. It should be noted that the prevailing consensus is that IoT is not a passing fad. In fact, Paul Marushka, president and CEO of Sphera Solutions, told attendees at the recent Environmental Leader Conference and Energy Manager Summit that IoT has the potential to change the world, just as the internet did, maybe even more so.”3