The Internet of Things (IoT) is about forming a more connected world. Nowhere are these changes being felt more than in the business industry. It’s now estimated that the business of the IoT, powered mainly by commercial sales, will reach a value of $470 billion by 2020.
But the changes to business are not merely something that makes life easier. These changes are unavoidable and they’re going to alter the way we live our lives.
Another study revealed that by the end of this year there will be 8.4 billion connected devices around the world. That represents a 31% increase from 2016. And the numbers are going to keep rising year after year.
So now that we know that there’s no avoiding the IoT we need to examine just how business is certain to change.
Employers want to get the most out of their employees. That means providing an office environment to do just that. Put it this way, the University of Helsinki calculated that typing mistakes decrease by 44% when the temperature falls within the optimal range of 68 to 77 degrees.
The IoT will create smarter employee sensors to better regulate the environment. It will determine who’s using the space, the climate that specific person prefers, and who’s expected to arrive in that space.
These sensors will use personalized data to ensure the right temperature is found.
And that can apply to anything, such as lighting, HVAC settings, and more.
The role of ad-hoc reporting can’t be underestimated. But it typically takes a lot of time and effort to get the necessary data. The IoT is making this easier.
For example, farmers are now able to collect specific data on their crops and livestock. They can then take that information to generate better harvests and more money for their businesses.
The same principle can be applied to practically any industry.
What happens if something goes wrong in your business? You usually find out when someone tries to get something done. On the other hand, self-service reporting from the tools themselves could help you to save valuable time and to avoid putting you in a difficult position later on.
One example of the IoT in action would be to connect an MRI machine to a central computer system within a hospital. If something goes wrong with that MRI machine, it would automatically send out an alert that it requires servicing. That could potentially save a patient’s life.
Now imagine if every tool within a business would be able to do this and how much time could be saved.
The world’s energy usage is expected to go up by 37% come 2040. Energy companies are going to struggle to meet demand, so they need to be smarter with how they distribute energy. One of the ways that’s being addressed is through the use of the IoT.
I’ve already mentioned that the IoT can spot when repairs need to be made. That can also be applied to the energy industry to preserve efficiency and to prevent outages.
But on top of that you have the potential to predict where demand will be highest, based off of previous growth rates and other data. Energy companies will be better placed to meet global demand for energy.
This is just an example of how one industry will be able to utilize the IoT to predict demand across the world. The predictive aspect of the IoT can also be scaled according to any industry and any business.
Now businesses will be able to tell you what you want before you even know it.
Personalized discounts are a familiar theme within the retail industry. Retailers want to make sure everyone feels like an individual, as well as provide discounts that are relevant to everyone.
An increasing number of stores are taking advantage of the IoT to install Bluetooth beacons within their stores. This technology can easily reach out to customers and provide them with personalized discounts.
For example, if someone spends a lot of time wandering around a specific aisle, a special discount can be provided on those products to convince them to buy. They may also be reminded of an existing discount on those items.
Businesses have to regularly test equipment and systems to ensure they’re in good working order. Unfortunately, these procedures can be expensive and it’s quite common for CEOs to want to cut corners to avoid these costs.
But the IoT is enabling businesses to carry out regular testing without the need to spend a lot of money. It’s estimated that continuous monitoring through the IoT is up to 20% cheaper than periodic testing.
This will allow businesses to divert more of their money towards the things that really matter.
Another major expenditure that businesses will be able to reduce with the IoT is energy costs. The IoT will be able to detect when someone is in the room and switch on/off the lights. Managing energy usage will be easier and will inevitably lead to a reduction in bills by taking human error out of the equation.
Over the course of a year a big business could save thousands of dollars simply by introducing temperature sensors and remote control.
The easiest way to take into account these changes is to boil them down to increasing efficiency, reducing expenditure, and making businesses smarter.
And it all comes back to the collection of data and how that data is analyzed. The IoT analyzes data at a much faster rate than a human can, and to a greater depth. Even the smallest of businesses will have the chance to manage data just like a big business.
What other changes do you think are likely to come about because of the IoT?