Being connected online means that people can have instant conversations with anyone around the world. We can also store and send large amounts of data, and run our entire business from multiple, connected devices. Real-time information is streamed to various platforms, providing users with accurate and timely information to help make the best decisions.
But, increasingly, more people are demanding the integration of various devices that can communicate with each other for the benefit of the user. This is what leads to the concept of the Internet of Things.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is simple to define. As the Guardian summarizes, “It’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other.”
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to understand the Internet of Things is with an example. We already know you can now obtain real-time, instant information from a range of devices. Let’s say you’re at work and an app on your phone alerts you to a sudden rainfall. Knowing that this will mean an increase in road accidents, you can then use apps such as Google Maps to get real-time traffic updates – and this information can be sent from your phone to your car’s navigation system without you needing to do anything.
You can also begin controlling the temperature of your home before you return. Heat Genius is one example that “allows you to control your heating from anywhere via your mobile, laptop or tablet”. This all provides a convenient, safe and economical way to use technology because they’re all able to communicate with each other.
What does this mean for business?
Any modern business should have the integration of various devices well within their radar for solutions. It doesn’t necessarily mean trying to develop apps that talk to cars. It’s more about recognizing the reality of connected devices.
The Internet of Things allows for more efficient data gathering from multiple sources. Considering the vast amounts of data that can be accumulated from various connected sources, businesses have an advantage. Data from users’ homes, offices, cars, phones and browsing habits can all be used to tell you a great deal. Whether it’s seeing how long users spend on specific parts of your website or obtaining feedback on service delivery, data from connected devices can provide thorough, real-time information that you can use to your business’ advantage.
The diversity of connected devices also means that businesses can start considering the development of new products and services to offer clients. Whether it’s banks offering clients mobile apps, or stores allowing payments with mobile phones, customers expect their convenience to be placed high in terms of priority. This benefits your business too, since what’s convenient and secure for customers is often more efficient for you.
Of course, while all this is exciting for you and your business, we can’t overlook the security concerns the Internet of Things presents. Consider these security risks of the Internet of Things and ensure that you take the necessary steps to improve security for yourself, your business and your customers. The Internet of Things will benefit your business but, like any tool, we must know what it means to use it efficiently.