What are the Benefits of the Internet of Things for Business

The Internet of Things for business provide advantages that can propel a company towards bigger growth. Here we highlight the benefits gained by forward thinking companies that adapt and pivot.

The Internet of Things or IoT has been a buzzword for many years. But it is only now that the benefits of Internet of Things for business have the potential to fulfill its game-changing promise. According to IHS, by the year 2020, the number of IoT capable or “connected” devices will reach 30.7 billion and will increase to 75.4 billion by 2025. The United Nations estimates that the human population will reach 8.1 billion in 2025. The number of connected devices will outnumber us 10 to 1.

This explosive growth can be attributed to the almost endless number of ways IoT can affect our way of living. From new technologies like smart sensors, cloud-connected devices, wearables, and self-driving cars. The possibilities are endless and this is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, only 0.06% of all existing devices are capable of leveraging IoT.

The small number can be explained by looking at the current crop of IoT solutions. Most IoT benefits for business are geared towards corporations and big companies who can afford invest in innovation. But more and more, IoT devices are being made for individuals, companies, homes and small businesses. Business owners, in particular, can benefit from integrating IoT technology into their products or business process. Below are the top 5 Internet of Things advantages for business and their benefits.

Improving customer experience

Benefit #1. Improving customer experience

Everyday equipment and devices will be extraordinary when paired with IoT technology. The advantages of IoT for business capabilities not only create new opportunities but also improves the user experience. Retail products like cars now have the capability to calculate the length of the trip, see traffic situations and compute for fuel consumption. Ordinary doorbells can now show who is knocking at your door, even if you are not at home. Refrigerators are now smart and know if you are low on supplies.

Businesses should take a look at their products and determine if pivoting to get the IoT advantages for business is in play. Logistic companies can use tracking tags on their vehicles to check if their staff is diligently doing their job. Coffee shops can use IoT to power their customer loyalty system by enabling tracking of favorite drinks and storing reward points. Any business can improve the experience of customers if they can properly dimension their IoT strategy.

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Benefit #2. Collecting new data

Benefits of IoT for business have given companies the capability to measure and gather important data that can improve their services or products. Smart sensors can be used by restaurants to constantly monitor the temperature of refrigerated food items. Farms can use these sensors for the maintenance of environmental conditions like heat, water levels, and humidity.

Food delivery services can use GPS tracking devices to create a “heat map” to see which areas have the most number of deliveries. They can then augment their manpower on these areas to improve their service.

Data collection is one of the Internet of Things advantages for company that can provide important insights like customer behavior is a valuable commodity. Take for example the data gathered by the food delivery company using GPS trackers. They have data that not only shows which locations have the most food deliveries, but the type of food being ordered in those areas.

This information can be offered as data assets to restaurants and food companies. They can then identify which area has more customers and what type of food is consumed by this market. They can then hyper-target areas these areas and create marketing initiatives based on the customer preferences.

The data gathered by the food delivery company not only benefited their operations but also created an unlikely opportunity and source of revenue.

 Reducing the cost of labor

Benefit #3. Reducing the cost of labor

The World Economic Forum predicts that 75 million jobs will be displaced by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation by 2022. Before your scream "SKYNET!", it’s not all doom and gloom. The innovation will likewise create new specialized jobs which means that only menial tasks, labor-intensive and repetitive jobs will be affected by this revolution.

This is an opportunity for businesses to start harnessing the power of IoT to anticipate this workforce shift. If you still have an assistant, maybe you start learning how to use Amazon Alexa. This device can provide reminders, task management, and research.

Hotels and apartelles can use “smart” locks so guests can be given access to their rooms without needing a lobby assistant or room assistant.

Small businesses can install IoT powered CCTVs to monitor the safety of their valuables. The security footage can be monitored remotely and can be activated by movement. This simple innovation can replace a full-time security guard and save on costs.

Benefit #4. A new positioning

Businesses, even the gigantic ones, can post positive growth for multiple years then suddenly plateau, sometimes without warning. This can be caused by an aggressive competitor, a saturated market or disruptive technology, well, disrupting an existing business.

Let’s use Nike as an example. They are being tested by aggressive competition (Adidas and Under Armour). They have saturated the market with their shoes and apparel, opening stores and selling online to a global market. They are being disrupted by smart pirates who make great copies of their products which they sell for a fraction of the retail price.

In response to these challenges, Nike adapted and integrated technology into their business strategy. Mobile apps like the Nike Run Club or NRC is driving Nike’s digital transformation. The NRC was embraced by athletes and casual runners giving Nike a unique platform to interact with their customers directly - giving them the ultimate B2C tool.

Nike is now ramping up and placing IoT directly to their products. Yes, Nike did it, they created a smart shirt. Nike partnered with top Football team Chelsea and placed a Near-Field Communication or NFC chip on their uniforms. The chip can be scanned by a smartphone to access exclusive content like player bio or even personal information like their favorite playlist. Scanning can also unlock exclusive offers and activities.

Aside from the unique user experience, the NFC chip is a hard-to-copy innovation that will only be seen on genuine Nike shirts. Giving the shirt more value and increased authenticity compared to fake copies.

Improving the efficiency

Benefit #5. Improving the efficiency

The IoT advantages for company allow not only connect devices to the internet but connect people using the devices to the internet. Sounds simple in theory, people have been surfing the net for decades so it's a common thing. IoT devices empower individuals as well as organizations to be more efficient and productive.

Internet of Things benefits for company can help improve workforce efficiency in key directions. Employees with smartphones and internet connectivity can work remotely. Files that are kept in a central server can now be accessed outside of the organization's local network. On the go video conferencing, once the stuff of sci-fi movies, is now possible through free applications like Messenger and Viber.

Productivity and processes are also positively impacted by IoT. Repetitive tasks like inventory checks, environmental measurements, counting and sorting - these can be delegated to smart devices which can do a better and more accurate job than any dedicated personnel. These devices do not sleep, does not take a break, works on weekends and holidays. It captures everything accurately without fail (unless they run out of power of course).

Top applications of IoT for businesses

  • IoT shipping trackers - Small devices that can attach to vehicles and packages to provide real-time tracking of movement.
  • Microsoft’s Azure IoT productivity suite - A cloud service that helps collect and analyze data to provide insights and patterns that can improve productivity.
  • RFID tags for retail - Tags that contain data information. When placed on products and items, business owners can scan the tag to bring up stored info or track movement.
  • Berg cloud prototype connected products - Devices that can be attached to an equipment to make it part of an IoT network.

Conclusion

Different industries and environments will have differing IoT implementation and models. The IoT benefits for company can work for one industry and might not work for another. If you are planning to create an IoT strategy for your business, it is best to work with a trusted consultant. Because the success of any IoT implementation is not just dependent on the technology you will use but also on the underlying strategy.

 

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