IoT (internet of things) is changing the many ways of us live and work. The IoT is a network of internet-connected physical objects that are outfitted with technology that enables them to share data with other devices and systems. This incredible technology allows us to monitor and control all types of environments from a central location or even from the palm of our hands.
IoT devices and technology can make our lives easier, more efficient, more convenient, and even greener with all the benefits it offers. In addition to the many personal benefits, this technology is great for businesses by helping them run more effectively and work smarter. It can also help businesses grow. Here we will look at five ways IoT technology can do that.
1. Data Management
In 2020, data is of the most important elements that helps businesses grow. An enormous quantity of data is available that is produced by every step of the creation process, every interaction with a patient or customer, and every transaction. Companies that can collect, process, and analyze this data can use it to make better, data-driven decisions that can lead to growth.
IoT devices are being employed in all types of business as the first step in the collection of more, and more accurate, data. IoT devices are used across industries to collect data in real-time like never before. This technology includes things like smart machines in manufacturing that transmit data about the manufacturing process and IoT medical devices that report vital patient data to doctors when they are not with the patient. In retail, smart shelves can help manage inventory and automated checkout systems can help more efficiently cash out customers.
All this IoT technology in the world of data management is geared towards assisting businesses to develop insights that will help them get better and faster. When a business gets better and spends less time on the factors that slow them down, there is a real opportunity for growth.
2. Improved Security
Growing in business takes a growth mindset. Companies need to think about ways to grow by analyzing opportunities, and planning growth strategies all the time. These activities occupy much time and headspace. Worrying about the security of your business can be all consuming. If you are anxious about security, you aren’t focused on growth–which is where IoT security technology can be useful.
IoT security cameras and alarm systems make securing a physical space easier and more cost-effective than ever. Installing and using a security system for your business used to involve closed-circuit cameras and alarm systems that were expensive to install and maintain as well as complicated to operate.
Now, cloud-based IoT security and camera systems have taken much of the difficulty out of implementing and using these systems. Security systems are much cheaper than previously, can be installed without a professional if necessary, and send updates and alerts right to your computer or mobile phone.
This technology allows you to monitor your business 24/7/365 and get immediate alerts of any security breaches. This can help you handle the issue well before it becomes a major problem. Best of all: when you are not constantly worried about security, you can truly focus on growing your core business.
3. Product Quality Control
One of the biggest keys to success, that will ultimately lead to growth, is quality control. Being able to consistently produce or provide a high-quality product or service will allow your business to satisfy existing customers and obtain more new customers down the line.
This is especially true for businesses producing or transporting sensitive products that need to be handled in a special way. This includes businesses that need to hold products or enact processes that must be performed at very specific temperatures. The food, pharmaceutical, and aerospace industries are all good examples of sectors for which companies need this type of precise environmental control.
To help control the environment to this degree, companies are using products such as IoT data loggers to feed environmental data to a cloud-based monitoring system that allows companies to oversee multiple locations from a central point. For example, as Dickson notes, a system of wireless temperature data loggers could be used to map and monitor a warehouse space in order to protect sensitive assets. This helps make the quality control process much easier to maintain and more streamlined.
4. Transparency in the Supply Chain
In the past, another area where businesses failed, and thus also slowed or failed to grow, is in the supply chain. Products moving from Point A to Point B (and often points C, D, E, and beyond) can be complicated, time-consuming and, when not done well, crippling for a business. IoT technology has changed supply chain management in a big way.
IoT sensors and tracking devices can help supply chain managers track where products are, where they are going, how they are getting there, and in what condition-down to the individual produc- thanks to GPS technology. Instead of relying on checking cargo at the beginning and end of its journey, managers now can pinpoint exactly what is happening at every second of its journey.
This amazing level of tracking leads to knowledge and insights that are incredibly helpful to companies. They can now ensure quality, prevent loss, and manage inventory better than ever. All this leads to a more effective supply chain that can handle bigger quantities with more accuracy which leads to growth.
5. Increasing Productivity
IoT technology can help businesses increase productivity in two different ways. Utilizing these devices can help machinery become more productive and help people increase productivity, too. Making both the human and non-human side of the business more productive is a great way to grow.
On the machine side, IoT-enabled smart machinery can report data to the people who run them about inefficiencies in how they are used and how they best work which may be hard to understand without putting in a large amount of time and effort. On the human side, the entire workflow of an employee can be streamlined and broadcast to a desktop or app. This allows people to get more done without necessarily working longer or harder. When employees and machines are able to have more capacity, growth will follow.
Many of us know how great IoT devices are in our personal lives but it is good to know how helpful they can be in business, too. With these devices, growth is more attainable than ever. Companies can let the technology do the hard work while they sit back and reap the rewards of a growing business.