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How is the Internet of Things (IoT) Transforming Businesses in 2019

Prasanna Gopinath

It goes without saying that almost every single aspect of our lives is currently generating a certain type of data. Smartwatches and other wearable devices track our steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and whatnot. Smartphones, on the other hand, know our particular location at any given moment, our interests, hobbies, preferences, and even what we would consider buying.

Some of this data benefits the customer, while other benefits the provider. Ultimately, though, it appears that we are steadily approaching an Internet of Things-driven world which, for the most part, can benefit everyone.

With this said, it's safe to say that the Internet of Things (IoT), definitely has an impact on both customers and businesses. In this piece, we'd like to place the emphasis on different companies and enterprises and a few ways IoT can impact their overall performance.

But before we get to that, let's begin by answering one simple question.

What is the Internet of Things?  

Put simply, IoT represents an extension of internet connectivity into physical devices, as well as in everyday objects. As these devices are embedded with internet connectivity and electronics, as well as other forms of hardware, including sensors, they can communicate and interact with each other while being (or not) controlled remotely.

Imagine the following scenario, which is perhaps one of the most commonly used explanations for IoT. Your alarm clock goes off at exactly six o'clock in the morning. This automatically signals your coffee machine which starts to brew a fresh cup of coffee right in time for your morning routine.

That's just a very rough and simple example, but you get the gist. Of course, IoT expands into far more serious implementations. Hence, as these interactions continue to increase in applicability, IoT application development is only going to rise in popularity and importance.

Now that we've covered the basis briefly, let's look at a few different ways IoT is transforming businesses today.

#1 Improved Customer Experience and Business Insights

Regardless if it comes to manufacturing, aviation, supply chain, healthcare, agriculture, or any other industry, for that matter, connected equipment creates more data streams and analytic potential.

This enables companies to gain greater and deeper insights into their operations, as well as the ways their customers use or view their products.

Let's look at the overall shopping environments. Internet of Things, applied there, is all about reducing the overall friction in the buying experience, while also helping customers to better interact with products. This often happens in an environment boasted by virtual or augmented reality before the purchase.

For some of the solutions, however, the experience is definitely somewhat clunky, but the overall message is that the Internet of Things can provide both high and main street stores with a boost. And it comes at a time when the conventional online shopping is currently undermining it.

This is true for other customer-facing types of businesses as well, where IoT application development can provide additional benefits. These include supply chain management, as well as improved stock and inventory control.

#2 Downtime and Cost Reduction

Building on the benefits of the aforementioned new insights, this could also result in a reduction in the operational downtime and expenditure.

This is perhaps the reason for which digital twin technology is also on the rise, especially when it comes to enterprises. Imagine that one small, yet critical component in your industrial installation has failed. It's likely to cause hours, if not days of technical downtime, as well as a lot of expenses.

Now, picture the same thing but only each part of that installation was previously stored in a digital twin. Through IoT, this twin could tell engineers that this particular component will fail, when it will fail, and how to replace it. The result could be a very brief downtime for maintenance until that component was quickly replaced or fixed.

It's important to note that Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (AI, ML, and NLP) are also to be considered.

#3 Gains in Productivity and Efficiency

By managing to connect the key processes of a business, leaders will be able to identify different ways to boost efficiency, as well as productivity.

There is another close link to be considered her and that's asset tracking and waste reduction. This is where IoT can really excel because, in general, it's all about efficiency.

Another very interesting area which is placing a lot of emphasis on the Internet of Things is the field of Blockchain technologies. Distributed ledger technology, as it's also referred to, represents an immutable distributed ledger which provides a variety of benefits including transparency, security, immutability, and many more. We've seen it make a huge run throughout the last few years, perhaps propelled by the massive surge in the price of digital assets which are based on it.

In any case, the Internet of Things is rapidly gaining steam across a broad range of industries. As such, IoT application development delivered by an experienced and established source such as Cognitive Clouds becomes more and more paramount.\
If you want to explore the possibilities of implementing the Internet of Things within your operations, don't hesitate to get in touch and get your free consultation.

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Prasanna Gopinath