Five Ways the Internet of Things is Transforming Businesses Today
July 13, 2020
As Internet of Things (IoT) adoption continues to accelerate, Andrew Hobbs explores the key ways it is shaking up the business world.
Almost every aspect of our lives now generates data. Smart watches track each step we take and sense each beat of our heart. The smartphones in our pockets know our location at any moment, our hobbies, where we’re going on holiday, and what we’re considering buying.
Some of these insights benefit the customer, and some the product maker. Ultimately, we are all emerging into an Internet of Things (IoT) world that, for the most part, benefits everyone – aiding our day-to-day lives and keeping us connected to the things and people that are important to us.
The use of such technology in the business world is no different. IoT devices record and transfer data to monitor important processes, give us new insights, boost efficiency, and allow companies to make more informed decisions.
They tell organisations what’s really happening, rather than what they assume or hope is happening. And the reams of data they gather are grist to the mill for analytics and AI systems, which can identify patterns of use or behaviour that were previously hidden.
The IoT market – which includes hardware, software, systems integration, and data and telecoms services – is expected to grow to $520 billion by 2021. That figure represents a more than 100 percent rise on the $235 billion spent in 2017.
More companies are running proof of concept trials than two years ago. And the number of enterprise customers considering exploring new use cases is up to 60 percent in 2018, compared with less than 40 percent in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market is forecast to surpass $176 billon by 2022, according to a new report by analysts at Market Research Engine.
If you’re considering how IoT technology could be used at your company or organisation, it’s vital to understand how it is currently transforming strategy and operations elsewhere.
Here are five key ways that the IoT is enabling successful digital transformation today.
Improved business insights & customer experience
Connected equipment in manufacturing, aviation, the supply chain, agriculture, healthcare, and many other industries, is creating more data streams and analytics potential, meaning that companies are gaining much greater insights into their business operations and how their customers use their products or services.
In many cases, this has been enabled by cloud platforms provided by the likes of Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM, and Google (alongside hundreds of more specialised vendors), but there is also now a shift towards edge computing in some industries, in an effort to reduce the latency (and other drawbacks) introduced by relying on remote, third-party data centres.
When a company understands how its customers use its products they can better fulfil their needs and improve the customer experience.
In many ways, the retail industry is at the forefront of technology-driven change in this area – with the need for change reflected in the widely reported fall of many household names. Meanwhile, the likes of Ocado and Amazon have thrived on a data-driven strategy