Labelled as ‘The next Industrial Revolution’, the Internet of Things (IoT) will change the way people live, work and travel. And the revolution has already begun. With close to 3,8 billion connected ‘things’ at the end of 2015, the international research company, Gartner, estimates that over 25 billion devices will be connected via the IoT by 2020. It’s little wonder that companies have been deploying smart devices to enhance their businesses. Here are several trends that highlight the importance of the IoT to businesses.

‘Always on’ customer engagement

Giving products intelligent ability allows users to interact with and control these appliances using networks and the Internet. These same systems allow companies to monitor products and provide proactive support, troubleshooting, and CRM.

In an ‘always-on’ world, this is useful as, if a product fails or malfunctions, a message can automatically be sent to the user and the manufacturer’s customer service. A technical team can then be dispatched immediately to resolve the problem, creating positive brand recognition with less hassle.

Increased efficiency in the business process

Whatever can be measured, can be improved. While some companies already entertain manufacturing monitoring, the IoT will take it to new levels. Wearable technology will be able to monitor employee activity and productivity, communicating real-time data and analytics that businesses can use appropriately, enhancing productivity and reducing costs. Greater visibility also means that business owners can keep their fingers on the pulse of their manufacturing processes – real time maintenance means less downtime for malfunctioning machinery or bottlenecks.

Service automation

IoT sensors on packages and vehicles can maximize the ‘visibility’ of the supply chain, greatly improving transport operations for goods. The Port of Hamburg, one of the busiest transportation hubs in Europe, has already streamlined their traffic in and out of the port with the help of such systems. Instant notifications allow crews to be exactly where and when they’re needed.

Expansion through IoT data and analytics

Following this, the port can use data from past shipments to increase efficiency in the future. IoT devices give businesses an advantage through the data that they collect and store. Information on distribution, manufacturing processes, employee movements and more can all be filtered and analyzed and used to better future processes or fast track business expansion.

 

The IoT revolution is gaining momentum and businesses are likely to be swept up whether they like it or not. Entrepreneurs and business owners would do well to read our blog post on how the IoT benefits startups. By educating and equipping yourself, you’ll easily keep up with this fast-paced world and give your business its greatest chance of success.

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