How Your Business Can Navigate the IoT Revolution
The Internet of Things (IoT) isn't just the buzzword of the day.
15:15 16 October 2020
It's a revolutionary step forward in consumer experience and efficiency, and it's here to stay. The IoT is still in its infancy, though, so business owners still have time to prepare their companies for what's to come. Read on to find out how to get started.
Advice for Product Manufacturers
Want to jump in the deep end and start producing Internet-connected consumer goods? That's a great direction for many companies to go in, but it's important to learn the basics first. Almost any device, sensor, monitor, camera, or even children's toy can be connected, but conventional manufacturers will need some help to get started. They can browse products from Particle to find everything they need to create IoT devices and products.
Don't want to make the switch to manufacturing IoT devices? Manufacturers of conventional goods will still be able to benefit by installing smart technologies that could reduce energy use, fuel consumption, and waste. That will be great news for everyone from the manufacturers, themselves, to the consumers they serve and the local ecosystem.
Advice for the Agricultural Industry
It may seem at first glance as if food production and Internet connectivity would make strange bedfellows. In reality, the agricultural industry stands to benefit substantially from the IoT revolution. There are already plenty of sensors and monitors on the market that allow farmers to keep track of everything from soil moisture to air quality and make adjustments as needed.
What's great about these advanced agricultural systems is that they can collect and analyze huge amounts of data in real-time. Plus, the incorporation of AI software into IoT devices allows farmers to create agricultural systems that can manage themselves, from germination to harvest. This allows farms on all scales to improve plant health and crop yields, reduce labor time, and serve a greater number of customers.
Advice for Service Providers
Product manufacturers and farmers aren't the only ones who can benefit from the coming IoT revolution. Service-based companies may need to take a different approach, but they can still jump on board this fast-paced bandwagon.
Try to find ways to use IoT devices to improve the company's already useful services. For example, health insurance companies can offer wearable devices that make it easier to track users' health and activity levels. The customers will benefit from more personalized health recommendations, and the insurer will benefit from healthier clients.
Advice for the Healthcare Industry
Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities already rely on data collection and analytics to provide optimal care for their patients. The IoT will make all of that easier, and there are already plenty of products on the market that could help.
Some facilities are already using completely remote mobile device management to monitor multiple patients' conditions with increased accuracy. Many of today's chronically ill patients are sent home from trips to the hospital or doctors' appointments with wearable tech that provides more accurate data to remote healthcare providers. Administrators are using RFID tags to manage inventory more accurately. From emergency rooms to pharmacies, this technology is already starting to take hold.
Advice for Offices
Just about every company has at least a small number of office workers behind the scenes. No matter what industry they operate within, business owners should start transitioning their offices over to the IoT as soon as they can. That requires more than just buying smart office devices, though.
Data is the currency of the IoT, and it needs to be stored, managed, and protected. Larger companies are already leasing data centers or installing them on-site, and smaller companies are turning to cloud-based services for help with data storage, management, security, and analytics. Work toward having this framework in place before transitioning a traditional office over to smart devices or looking into novel opportunities for collecting and utilizing data in the field.
Advice for the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry has been at the forefront of IoT adoption. Many manufacturers already install hundreds, or even thousands, of sensors in their vehicles that collect data about everything from fluid levels to tire pressure and much more. Today's smart cars are able to all but drive themselves, and it's all thanks to the IoT.
Smart cars are likely the way of the future. All the industry giants are already paving the road toward self-driving vehicles, and some have already been test-driven. Smaller, boutique automotive manufacturers would do well to keep up with the changing times by finding ways to incorporate IoT connectivity into their vehicles in novel ways if they want to keep up.
Advice for the Security Industry
Businesses operating in the security industry are already taking advantage of IoT connectivity to offer customers more advanced means of keeping their properties safe. Security cameras can now be monitored from anywhere, doors can be locked and unlocked remotely, and sensors are available to keep track of everything that goes on using artificial intelligence to eliminate human errors.
Security companies need to offer a wide range of connected devices if they want to keep up. Don't worry, though. There's still a place for security personnel, including guards and monitors, in the new, fully connected world. The companies that are currently performing best with consumers and business owners use approaches that combine technological solutions with adequate manpower to provide optimal protection, and that trend will likely continue into the future.
The Bottom Line
The IoT revolution is already well underway, and unless things change dramatically for the worse in the coming years, connected devices are here to stay. It doesn't matter what industry businesses operate within. This amazing technological revolution is impacting everything from how children interact with their toys to how food is grown.
Embracing the IoT fully will take some preparation, not just for manufacturers of IoT devices, but also for the average business owner. Start looking into data storage, management, and security options now, and don't be afraid to branch out and try new products. They'll continue to improve over time, but the IoT devices already available will make it easier for business owners to stay competitive.