By 2020, it is predicted that the investment in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by consumers, governments and businesses worldwide will be more than $6 trillion.1 And although smart watches and fridges spring to mind when you think IoT, these investments are not reserved for consumers looking at making their homes smarter or tracking their fitness.
Businesses will be the top adopters of IoT – focusing on ways to improve their efficiency, productivity and product.2
As a professional concerned with the development and future success of your business you not only have the opportunity to make the most of the IoT market in terms of the products you produce, but how you produce them.
Here are four ways that IoT technologies could benefit your business:
1.Monitoring your overall business process with IoT applications
Of the predicted $6.2 trillion to be spent on IoT technologies, $2.3 trillion of that will be made up of manufacturing investments – the second highest value after healthcare.3
Applying the right IoT technologies to your factories, machinery and equipment means faster, smoother work because you have the opportunity to receive real-time feedback, tailored to your specific needs. You’ll be able to keep track of where things are, how they are being used and how often, as well as identifying breakdowns before they become a problem. Factories that rely on massive inventory tracking will be able to free up workers through automatic IoT applications that improve speed and accuracy.
Rolls Royce are prime examples of a company that has used IoT to improve the machinery they rely on. Their aircraft engines have been fitted with sensors that communicate real-time data back to ground staff, mitigating risks in high stress environments.4
Manufacturing is not alone in its improved status. IoT technologies can be applied to business functions throughout the office space. The use of wearable IoT merchandise helps to ensure information and activities are accurately tracked – opening up opportunities to harness data for better decision making.
2. Improving your customer experience with IoT data
The interaction of devices can help improve functions, but it also allows for proactive support. Working with feedback from customers through IoT technologies improves communication capabilities and helps you build better products. You’ll be able to monitor shortcomings, bugs and breakdowns with little effort. This increased accessibility to the manufacturer serves both the producer and the consumer.
Paired with this is the opportunity for more data. In-depth information on your consumer’s behaviors and habits are nuggets for marketers who can use the data to inform decisions on who to target, when to target them and what kind of budget to back it with. IoT technologies will see quantitative data being replaced with qualitative data – helping you to better understand the person at the end of your buyer’s cycle.
3. Boosting overall organizational productivity with IoT technologies
IoT is predicted to generate $1.2 trillion worldwide through the improved productivity of employees.5
One of the ways that employee productivity is being influenced is through the increased possibilities for remote working. The interconnectedness of devices means that employees are no longer required to be in the same physical space as one another to collaborate. Cloud-hosted software and portable devices mean that your employees can manage their work from anywhere over shared networks.
Productivity will also be boosted through the increased speed that comes with IoT technologies; smarter cities will lead to a decrease in traffic and ultimately shorter commutes; automation of tasks formerly held by staff members will increase efficiency and speed; and IoT developments could see your employees performing large-scale tasks more collaboratively and with greater ease.
4. Integrating and adapting your business model and strategy with IoT
Finally, early adopters of IoT have the opportunity to make the most of a market that will likely change the world. Practicing agility and adaptability won’t be easy, particularly when you consider the changes that might affect your staffing needs and numbers, but focusing on the right IoT technologies for your business might be the difference between success and stagnation.
Your business model might change significantly through the application of IoT: consider how Nike has moved from sports and fitness and has embraced the technology industry with their watches and mobile apps. John Deere is another example of a company practicing adaptability, supported by IoT. Moving away from exclusively selling agricultural equipment they’ve become suppliers of data-backed information, vital to the success of farmers.6
IoT will not only encourage you to rethink the way you approach your business, industry and market, but it will also supply you with the tools to make an improved business strategy a reality.
Are you ready to reap the benefits that IoT has to offer your business?
Register now for the MIT Sloan School of Management online program in the Internet of Things and learn from one of the world’s leading business schools.