In our last article on the Internet of Things (IoT), we defined, discussed and highlighted ways in which we can expect our day to day life to change owing to the merging of various technologies through IoT. We can agree that IoT presents exciting opportunities for the future in various sectors which includes the business world.
In this article, we look at the ways in which the business and corporate world stand to benefit from IoT.
Generally speaking, the internet of things will speed up industries, increase revenue, change the way people work and even lead to the emergence of new business models. According to a McKinsey report, IoT applications will have a total economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year in 2025.
However, to provide a clearer picture on some specific ways in which we expect to see IoT transform the business world, we highlighted particular areas from various sectors that stand to see incredible changes with the emergence of IoT.
- Data Tracking
Data is a crucial aspect of business operations however, regularly monitoring operations can be cumbersome. Many businesses have started relying on IoT solutions to help them collect valuable data more efficiently. For instance, businesses in retail may leverage IoT sensors to track consumer behaviours in-store. This provides insight into customer habits and enables businesses to make decisions based on peak business times as well the kinds of purchases their customers are making.
Data gleaned from these practices can be extremely valuable. The more IoT devices you have connected, the more data you will retrieve and the more informed decisions you can make. Consequently, this also allows companies to develop new products and business models based on the data that they create.
- Improved Maintenance Processes
IoT will prove to be greatly beneficial for entrepreneurs dealing in the manufacturing industry as devices will automatically collect data to be used for predictive maintenance avoiding down-time increase with machine availability. Predictive maintenance increases efficiency as more and more manufacturers look to avoid the cost that comes with reactive maintenance by being able to spot problems before they occur.
Further, Nikita Zuvovich reveals that one of the most high tech solutions in predictive maintenance that has affected businesses is digital twins. A digital twin is a virtual model of a physical machine or equipment. The object is outfitted with various sensors that track the performance, temperature and energy output. This is done while transferring the data to its digital twin. The maintenance system then runs simulations on a virtual model to study its performance issues and identify its vulnerabilities.
When it comes to high-value equipment, the benefits of predictive maintenance are invaluable. Businesses have fewer maintenance costs and better downtime management because an IoT based monitoring system predicts machine failures and allows scheduling the optional time for maintenance activity. With clients expecting greater levels of customization and faster production than before, many manufacturers are seeking ways to increase productivity.
- Efficient use of resources and assets
Efficiency in resource management in a business is of the utmost importance as it essentially determines whether a business will be sustainable in the long run or not. The automated scheduling and monitoring implemented with the help of interconnected sensors enables higher efficiency of resource use such as improved power management. This is especially beneficial for businesses working in a physical location where utilities such as water and power are a concern. Simple motion detectors may save significant amounts of money in electricity and water bills, thus making both small and large businesses more productive and eco-friendly.
- Helps to make Remote Work Easier
IoT helps power remote work in that it fosters and helps increase efficiency through improved collaboration. IoT harnesses devices and connects them allowing users to easily communicate even if they are located on opposite ends of the earth. This ease in communication is cardinal for employees working in different locations.
Additionally, IoT reduces inconveniences for remote workers by providing troubleshooting for at-home employees. In the past, a person experiencing computer problems had to get in the car and take their device to a physical location to have it serviced. Today, IoT sensors can detect malfunction and provide inspections remotely. This functionality allows employees to fix things independently. IoT further helps to streamline remote work processes, offering conferencing equipment and other valuable tools to help employees stay connected, no matter where they are.
- Customer Service
In many ways, customers serve as the backbone of a business. Without customer buy-in and support, no business can achieve its aims and objectives. Teksetra explains that IoT is quickly becoming a game-changer in terms of providing top-notch customer support. Thanks to IoT services and technologies, customers have access to a range of valuable resources to help them make purchases and engage with companies.
Businesses can further use IoT to personalise the customer journey by using tracking tools to understand customer patterns and preferences and offer them a unique experience tailored to whatever they’re interested in or want to buy. Businesses can then share this information across a more comprehensive network to help inform business leaders about what their customers might like to see in the future.
Automation is another critical component of IoT when it comes to customer service. Businesses can use chatbots and AI-powered devices to answer customer questions when support personnel are unavailable. What’s more, these conversations can then be sent back to a live agent for analysis to improve the overall support process.
In a nutshell, what are the benefits of IoT to organisations?
Alexander Gillis points out that some benefits are industry-specific while some are applicable across multiple industries. Hence some of the common benefits of IoT to businesses are:
- monitor their overall business processes;
- improve the customer experience (CX);
- save time and money;
- enhance employee productivity;
- integrate and adapt business models;
- make better business decisions; and
- generate more revenue.
- IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses and gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.
Moving forward, it can be said that a company or business that employs high-tech solutions and IoT, in particular, generally makes a positive impression on its customers, investors and other business partners who are aware of the numerous advantages offered by the internet of things. This in turn creates opportunities to reach a wider market audience both locally and internationally.
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