The Internet of Things is on its rise now because more and more devices can cooperate with each other. This leads to significant automatization of routine processes with various sensors, cameras, and scanners that can run using specific software solutions. Let’s dive deeper into IoT and discover its benefits for business.
What Does IoT Mean?
Before moving any further, It’s vital to understand what IoT means. Let’s clarify what the Internet of Things is. Wikipedia gives us the following definition of IoT:
“The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.”
In plain English, the main goal of IoT is to connect everything in the world using specific protocols and devices that can interchange data. This amount of data can be analyzed and transformed into certain actions that were prescripted.
IoT is divided into three essential nodes that provide its work.
- Sensors — it’s a basic node responsible for data collection. Sensors gather data and send it to the proper destination which is a specific device that works with it
- Connectivity — the whole connection process between devices is pretty complicated. Devices that receive information require a constant connection to receive collected data, so the most widespread connection protocols are: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and various cellular networks like 4G or 5G
- Analytics — when the data is collected in clusters, it’s time to analyze it and filter out useless data from the whole cluster.
IoT and Its Impact on Business
Business potential of IoT is huge. Let’s take retail as an example. With the use of various location transmitters that can detect customers’ locations, it’s possible to analyze what kinds of products are popular and bought frequently. Furthermore, it’s possible to gather other types of information like shopping routes, time spent in the shop, and bought goods. It’s crucial information for proper retail business development.
Moreover, location beacons may help in survey creation. Leaving the store, customers will receive a short list of questions about satisfaction level and so on.
It’s only one example of IoT benefit, and there are a lot more others among all business spheres. Let’s discover in which spheres IoT will be suitable and beneficial.
Business Spheres That Can Prosper Using IoT
The main goal of every business field is to prosper and gain profit. IoT can provide significant help in achieving these goals. Here are a few industries that can make the most out of using the Internet of Things.
IoT can be put to good use in managing our health state. The most common way to use IoT in healthcare is various wearable devices that monitor our health parameters like heartbeat rate, weight, sleep time, and more. Thanks to these devices, physicians can monitor their patients’ overall health and act quickly if any of the indexes fall below normal.
IoT within an industrial business can leverage its overall work efficiency and decrease the amount of time spent on various routine work. For example, you need to check the state of manufacturing equipment, but this will take some time due to the quantity of equipment involved in the facility. IoT will speed up this process using sensors that will monitor the technical state of all machines within the facility and gather all information in the form of useful statistics. And it will be easier to find that one machine that works not as intended. Moreover, it will point at possible sources of the problem in the working process to quickly fix this issue.
Farming is an industry that requires hard work on vast land spaces. And it’s vital to plow, fertilize and water them properly without losing any percent of productivity. IoT is already used in farming thanks to the ability to work in hard-to-reach zones. Flying drones are already fertilizing vast fields and make it with great ease. These drones can fly both on autopilot or controlled by the supervisor. In any scenario, drones work faster and more effectively than employees.
There are a lot of ways how IoT can be used in educational facilities. The most common use case is security systems. While a security guard can still be on duty near the front door checking everyone coming in and out of the building, IoT adds another layer of security with motion sensors and IP cameras with biometric scanners.
Besides security purposes, IoT can provide various managing improvements like an automated track of whose presence in class or tracking of education performance of each student.
Pitfalls to Consider
Even the most promising technologies like IoT have their flaws. Let’s find out what pitfalls should be considered entering the Internet of Things.
Cisco has recently done a survey and discovered that 75% of vulnerabilities were found in IoT systems and devices. IoT still has problems with securing vital data, and hackers can get access to it. As a result, it’s vital to put all resources in providing security to each device while developing the IoT system. It can be done by developing your own security system, including firewalls, two-step verification, etc. If you want to go a simple way, you can choose between various pre-made solutions from well-known companies like Cisco, Darktrace, and Senrio. They provide top-tier security products for enterprise-level IoT.
It may happen that some devices are not compatible with each other. This happens for various reasons: different manufacturers, operating systems, and so on. For an easier integration process, it would be wise to develop an IoT using an ecosystem of similar devices. Similar devices may use the same IoT protocols. This strategy will greatly decrease the chance of issues occurring.
Even though there are successful use cases of IoT in various business spheres, this technology is very young. If businesses want to enter the IoT, they must be flexible and creative to properly think out the ways how they can benefit using IoT. Moreover, there is a lack of specialists that can handle IoT establishment and maintenance. So there may be a strong need to outsource your ideas to professional companies.
Lack of C-Level Support
The benefits of IoT are obvious but not for everyone. Many entrepreneurs think that it’s impossible to leverage using IoT in business, and it’s not worth spending resources to implement IoT in business. They are greatly mistaken because IoT is a future of business, and soon enough, every business field will use the IoT in different ways to prosper and develop.