Internet of Things Explained!
All you need to know about the Internet of Things (IoT), what it is, and how it will affect tomorrow’s businesses.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
If you have spent some time on the internet, chances are you have come across the term ‘Internet of Things’.
Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the countless number of devices all over the world that are connected via the internet, sharing information and data. In recent years, this definition has evolved to mean any computer-related device with the ability to communicate or talk to other devices.
These IoT devices range from sensors in cars, to kitchen appliances, smartphones and wearables. Even heart monitors can be connected on the Internet of Things.
By connecting these devices together, it is possible to gather data, analyse it and create actionable processes that can help someone somewhere with a particular task.
At its core, IoT is designed to create a more connected world where devices can interact with each other regardless of the network type, device type or location.
The Internet of Things has enjoyed tremendous growth, thanks to the availability of cheap processors and the proliferation of the wireless internet – now, just about anything can be connected on the IoT, from tiny devices to aeroplanes.
The IoT makes it possible for machinery that would otherwise be ‘dumb’ to communicate intelligently without the need for human intervention.
How does the Internet of Things work?
Every kind of device with a built-in sensor can be used on the IoT and can be connected to the Internet of Things platform. This way, data from the different devices can be analysed and the valuable information collected applied to devices and applications built to solve specific needs.
IoT platforms can identify the information that is useful and that which can be ignored. This information can come in handy for detecting patterns, making useful recommendations and detecting issues before they arise.
For example, IoT platforms can analyse the information gathered from sensors located in car showrooms to determine where customers spend the most time and car features that are popular across different sets of customers.
The platform can also analyse sales data to discover fast-moving brands and provide instructions to ensure that those brands are always in stock.
The data picked up via IoT connected devices will enable car showroom owners to make insightful decisions about the brands to stock up on, based on real time information which will help in saving time and money.
This is just one of the many ways in which the Internet of Things can be used to make processes easier and automate tasks that are usually mundane, repetitive and even dangerous.
IoT predictions for the future
There are expectations that the number of IoT devices on Earth will hit 24 billion by the year 2020. That means, approximately four IoT devices for every individual person on the planet.
As we get closer to that point, an estimated $6 billion will be made available for IoT including for the development of applications, system integration, data management, security and connectivity. This will be a worthy investment that will yield impressive returns by 2025.
But, who will enjoy the benefits of this investment? Whoever they are, it is certain that the world of business will feel the impact of IoT in the coming future.
How IoT will impact businesses
According to a survey carried out by developers of CatEyes, IoT spending is expected to have increased by 15% at the end of 2018. A huge chunk of these resources will be used for projects that go beyond simply automating business processes.
By the end of 2018, IoT projects will have transformed the business landscape by creating new revenue streams and developing new business models. This will be helped in part by the already increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business operations.
AI devices will be able to share information that can help business owners understand business practices in other areas of the world and take smart decisions on business policies.
Here are some areas where IoT will drive impactful changes in business.
Better business inventory
IoT devices will help business owners gain a clearer understanding of their stock and how they use their resources. IoT will make it easy to track where things are, what is sold, what is used and what needs to be replaced.
Analysis of this data can help to improve productivity, efficiency and prevent waste. When this information is shared among IoT devices, the information can also aid other businesses in the same areas.
Communication with customers
Customer service is a very important part of any business, and with IoT devices gathering customer information and presenting it in an easy to understand format, it makes it easier to provide customers with both the data and services that exceed customer service expectations.
For example, a fitness app can analyse the most effective fitness regime and let other users know how to get the most from their daily fitness routine. Similarly, businesses can use the data from IoT devices to determine when customers need an upgrade or replacement and then remind them to get one.
Improve online visibility
Mobile internet has been established as one of the biggest trends on the web in 2018. While smartphones are not exactly classified as IoT devices, they still provide a vehicle for IoT to influence businesses on the internet.
Data shared between IoT smartphones will help businesses understand the focus areas of their target customers, especially in regards to search trends and website visits. With this information, businesses can tailor their websites to suit what their target customers are looking for.
According to professionals at Synapse SEO, New Zealand’s SEO Company, IoT can help SEO experts, and website and business owners craft better SEO content tailored to satisfy the search needs of customers.
For example, if IoT data shows that search users are consistently using a particular set of keywords to search for certain items, website owners can integrate these keywords into pages that provide the content the customers are searching for. This will tremendously aid in website visibility, customer acquisition, and sales.
A lot of the security devices in business locations around the world are currently on the IoT platform. As the number increases, it brings with it more security advantages to businesses.
A business owner can see what is going on in his or her business premises from any part of the world. Additionally, these security devices have gotten so smart that they can detect suspicious activities and report them to the police.
Access control devices on the IoT platform can also be used to monitor where people are and keep tabs on punctuality and attendance, and during an emergency, can be used to direct people to safety.
The Internet of Things is already having a huge impact on the way businesses operate and this will significantly increase as more devices get connected across businesses and households.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to pay attention to this trend and get your business ready to adapt, so that you can enjoy the advantages it brings.
Cornerstone Digital is a web development agency in Sydney. For help preparing your website for the future, call us on 02 8211 0668, email us at [email protected] or complete our online enquiry form.
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.