Using IoT to Find New Efficiencies for Your Business
Everyone likes gadgets. In your personal life, it’s fun to try out the latest tech craze, even if it eventually turns out to be a fad. However, in business, you have to take a more practical approach. When considering IoT upgrades, you need to ensure that the new equipment will drive efficiencies for your business.
The expansion of IoT technology over the last several years has been stunning. One study predicted a total of 75.44 billion connected devices in use by 2025. If this level is reached, it would represent a 5x increase over the course of a decade.
The key, though, isn’t just getting on a bandwagon. You don’t just want to stock up on IoT devices because it’s part of a general trend. Instead, develop a more focused plan. Target the acquisition of IoT technologies that fit your company’s needs.
These efforts can pay off dramatically. The right IoT acquisitions can drive significant improvements in productivity and financial results. One study found that adoption of IoT technology unlocked efficiency improvements at 80% of companies.
As you look at the wide variety of IoT equipment (a roster that continues to grow on a daily basis), you should match the available upgrades with your business needs. Review the areas where you see the biggest room for enhancement, and target your purchases there.
Why Use IoT in Your Business?
In a moment, we’re going to look at some of the specific upgrades you can make using IOT technology. However, we should first take a step back and review the broader benefits offered by these products.
Keep in mind that these purchases have a purpose. They are meant to drive broad improvements in your overall cost structure and customer relations. It’s important, then, to take an expansive view upfront, setting general objectives that will set the stage for your specific decision-making efforts.
Here are some of the general goals fueling the IoT explosion:
- Gather More Data to Deliver Improved Insights
- Improve the Customer Experience
- Streamline Operations
With these broad concepts in mind, you can drill down to the specifics of what best suits your business. You can use the data you collect to achieve efficiencies that will quickly trickle down to the bottom line.
Developing an Infrastructure
We’ve seen how the general purpose of deploying IoT technology is to gather additional data and use that to improve operations and enhance customer experiences. In order to get the most out of all of this effort, you need to prepare for the incoming flood of data.
After all, the growth of IoT technology means an exponential increase in the amount of data collected. IDC predicts that the amount of data generated by connected IoT devices will reach 79.4 zettabytes of data in 2025. (To put it into perspective, a zettabyte equals one sextillion bytes, or a one followed by 21 zeros.)
To manage all this data, you’ll need a strong technological base. Before dramatically expanding your IoT footprint, invest in a scalable, flexible data storage system, like druid architecture. This will allow you to get the most out of your expanded influx of information.
Getting the Most Out of IoT
To leverage the value of IoT, look at your specific operations and consider what areas would most benefit from the technology. From there, you can make targeted upgrades. This process of creating an individualized acquisition program will allow you to get the most out of your tech budget.
Here are a few areas where IoT offers significant benefits:
IoT devices can let you get a better feel for your inventory. You can track both raw materials and finished goods precisely, in real time. With this information, you can streamline your production process, as well as shorten delivery times for your customers.
Better Follow Your Fleet
The installation of IoT technology can give you more visibility for your fleet of vehicles. You can get more out of your maintenance efforts, letting you put off expensive replacements. At the same time, the enhanced information will allow you to squeeze efficiencies out of deliveries and other aspects of your fleet’s day-to-day operation.
Upgrade Physical Security
Security is a major concern for any company. IoT can help you upgrade this aspect. By installing IoT-enabled equipment, you limit opportunities for theft or vandalism, through the use of an automated, efficient security apparatus.
Upgrade Customer Responsiveness
The best way to build a brand is through excellent customer service. One survey found that nearly three out of four (73%) respondents said they loved a brand because of its customer service. IoT can help you become more responsive to your customers. The data collected will allow you to better serve their current needs, as well as anticipate potential improvements you can implement in the future.
Using data compiled by IOT products, you can track product and supply movement within your facilities. Knowing how things move around your warehouse will let you create a more efficient organization. You can design your work areas better and eliminate bottlenecks.
Compound Savings Through Minor Efficiencies
IoT can offer small improvements in a vast number of somewhat trivial parts of your business. From lighting to temperature control to automatic coffee brewing, IoT can help shave pennies off of many budget line-items. Any one of these improvements might seem effectively negligible on its own. However, taken as a whole, these tiny improvements can accumulate to achieve meaningful overall savings.
Keep Searching for Innovative Solutions
In an age of accelerated technological development, products become obsolete very quickly. For instance, data show that 3% of the world’s electronics products become obsolete each month. Certain innovations, especially related to the Internet, might only remain viable products for a year, before being replaced by more advanced substitutes.
These facts suggest a short turnaround for an innovative field like IoT. Whatever processes you have in place now, you should constantly review them. This way, you can remain at the cutting edge for years to come.