Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Connecting Your Business to the Internet of Things (IoT)
From the World Wide Web to Wi-Fi and social media, modern technology is bent on progressing towards connecting the world through a global platform. With the advancements in technology bound towards this goal, it’s no wonder that the arrival of Wi-Fi and mobile network technology has resulted in a plethora of devices suited towards enabling more functions of this world-wide connectivity. The sheer magnitude of connected devices, which have been developed over the last few years, has led to a seamless interaction of everyday objects that are embedded with technology. They’ve crept into our personal lives on a scale of epic proportions and are rapidly spreading to industrial implementations. There are now a variety of applications for the Internet of Things, and new devices are constantly being developed to add to this era of hyper-connectivity.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the term given to the connectivity of devices through the internet. Some small applications of the IoT include controlling your central heating through your smartphone or tracking your iPhone with an app on a tablet or iPad. Consumers have installed fridges and speakers with Amazon’s Alexa built into them, transforming ordinary items into smart devices that are part of the IoT. But, increasing the efficiency and convenience of household items isn’t the only application of the IoT, particularly when it comes to the world of business. The implementation of the IoT devices can save time and resources, as well as streamline processes to ensure your business runs more effectively and efficiently.
The IoT and the data that it produces is set to be worth around £322bn to the UK economy and there will be 200 billion connected devices by this year.
How can it be applied?
Everything from thermostats, room occupancy and remote working solutions can be handled by smart devices, so the office space is able to run more efficiently. This means that incorporating the IoT makes it easier for companies to adopt flexible working conditions and improvements in processes that can help cut business management costs.
With the ability to connect devices to the Cloud and communication solutions using APIs, the IoT has paved the way for more effective collaborative efforts that incorporate the need for flexible working. In retail, businesses are using smart tagging to monitor their stock, which saves time in manually recording it and improves accuracy. Even cyber security is getting the IoT upgrade. Data security solutions now include keeping data secure in the Cloud and also provide clients with tools to analyse and interpret that same data. There are also smart locks, which rely on authorised devices using wireless protocols or cryptographic keys, and smart cams, which not only capture audio-visual information but also extracting specific information from the footage.
These smart devices, because they’re connected to the internet, carry a mountain of information about consumers through the data they collect. However, this subject remains an ethical minefield, with the consent of the consumer, this data can provide companies with the information necessary to provide a better service through more accurate and relevant product recommendations, as well as targeted advertising and content that’s delivered specifically for each customer. This all helps to put the customer at the forefront of a company’s interests and efforts. The more behavioural insights that companies can glean form their customers, the better placed they are to develop products in the future. Consumers like to be at the top of a business’s priority list. Improving engagement and offering personal, immediate and effective support is the best way to gain loyalty from customers.