With the Internet of Things in its infancy, businesses are still finding applications for improving systems and processes. But already the range of benefits includes:
- Improved productivity from the automation of processes
- Reduction in waste from smarter stock monitoring
- Less time wasted through equipment breakdown
- Cost savings and green benefits from reduced energy consumption
- More efficient production from real-time diagnostics
- Improved levels of customer experience and service by pre-empting issues and responding proactively
- Improved profitability
- More informed strategic decision-making
One important way in which the IoT can assist businesses is in leveraging insights from big data, which can be hard to handle without the right automated processes in place.
The IoT enables organisations to collect and analyse customer information in real time – without the need for a human intermediary to collect and enter it or the data volume limits that that necessarily entails. And this in turn means product design and marketing strategies can be informed by more accurate, real-world data.
For example, if a new product isn’t performing as well as anticipated, getting the data more quickly puts organisations in a better position to decide how to react and helps them save money by enabling them to avert or modify a strategic misdirection.
And of course, the IoT represents a massive business opportunity in itself.
In 2017, in terms of hardware spending, the use of connected things among businesses was set to drive $964 billion in hardware sales, according to Gartner. Consumer applications would amount to $725 billion (2017), according to the same figures, and by 2020, hardware spending from both segments was set to reach reach almost $3 trillion.