How the Internet of Things (IoT) Will Impact the Future of Business
In today’s business world, there’s a buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT). You likely know what it is, but may not be familiar with the term. The more you do understand IoT, however, you’ll come to find how important it can be for business and achieving important goals.
Defining Internet of Things (IoT)
Only a few short years ago, IoT was considered “the next frontier.” That time is really right now and, frankly, moving forward with the future of technology and all devices that utilize it.
IoT is a network where a system of devices connects and communicates with each other and the end user. Data transfers between devices over this network and it often doesn’t even require human-to-computer interaction. Data doesn’t have to be input. Instead, sensors gather the data. Once collected, the data can be used in real time and is also stored in the cloud so it can be accessed whenever needed.
Data drives IoT
Being able to count and track all kinds of data over hours, days and years provides innumerable opportunities for businesses. With the ability to derive better conclusions, it becomes easier to optimize results and achieve business goals more effectively and efficiently. The needs of end users are fulfilled more adequately. For example, consumers can learn when things needed replacing, updating or repairing. Lights can turn on before residents return home, wearables monitor fitness and health, and the guesswork is taken out of the grocery shopping experience.
Probably the most familiar examples, in addition to fitness bands, would be music sites and online shopping. Pandora and Spotify are fully online in the cloud, but even Amazon Prime and iTunes are providing preferred music on the backend. Netflix makes recommendations in a similar way. Buying habits are filtered and recommendations are presented to the consumer via the cloud on the backend. Google searches look at specific actions or trends and compare them to other people’s actions to make recommendations. When parsing data like this, it results in a better user experience and increases the likelihood of influencing a positive outcome such as making a purchase, engaging in extended use or even getting more ads in front of the user.
By taking advantage of all the data that sensors and processors can convey as well as the communication between devices, businesses can create practical applications in a number of industries, including retail, transportation, hospitality, construction, healthcare and energy, to name just a few.
IoT and the bottom line
Today’s consumers expect a lot from technology because they are much more savvy about it every day. The Internet of Things makes it easier to improve customer experiences. Businesses that focus on the user first and foremost and try to solve problems for their educated consumers will find that making their customer’s lives more convenient and efficient ultimately benefits their bottom line, especially with:
- Competitiveness: IoT helps bridge gaps, eliminate blind spots and enables organizations to make smart decisions in order to out-execute their competitors.
- Innovativeness:Historically speaking, as a company becomes larger, it is difficult to be innovative beyond core competencies. IoT adds a fresh perspective to define strategic directions, adapt business processes and encourage cross-departmental collaboration.
- Developing new products: Collected data removes much of the guesswork about consumer needs and provides a foundation for empirical decision-making. Knowing your customer means being able to categorize them in such a way that you are able to establish that baseline which allows for risk taking and making recommendations. The more confident you are about being able to put the customer into a demographic, the lower the risk in making a recommendation. When there is a more customized or specified categorization or demographic identification, the feedback or recommendation can be more valuable. Having data on hand leads to opportunities for creating if/then situational recommendations that can be tied to active or live interactions. All of this increases the probability of the desired positive outcome: the customer making a purchase.
- This, in turn, leads to improving profit margins, generating new revenue streams and growing a business’ overall brand.
Integrating the Internet of Things with your business
At SurfaceInk, we know IoT can have a great impact on a great many things. What makes it most exciting is all the ways individual organizations can use it to enhance the experiences for their customers. We have the expertise to help you customize solutions for your target audience. If you’re looking for ways to be more innovative, outsmart your competition and ultimately impact your bottom line, let’s have a conversation about how SurfaceInk can help get you there.