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10 Strategic advantages of Internet of Things connected businesses

Ben Obear
July 8, 2015

Businesses in today’s day and age need to be connected to the ‘Internet of Things.’ This will allow for them to be totally connected. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. It is strategic for you to be as connected as possible and understanding this will help you to achieve all of the different advantages.

Everyday objects are now being given connectivity and this is a big deal. Virtually anything can be connected into the internet so that you have access to it within your office, out in the field, and anywhere else you go. The advantages are considerable and exploring them can change the way you look at your business and operate within your industry.

1. Reduce Downtime

You can use a sensor network based on the Internet of Things to be able to monitor more of what’s going on in your world. By doing so, you have the ability to reduce downtime considerably – and many businesses are already doing this. For example, GE is using sensors to learn more about its turbines to reduce downtime. When you can reduce downtime, you can also improve the way customers establish trust within your business.

2. Real-Time Behavior

You can suddenly be aware of what’s going on in and around your industry in real-time. Whether this is buying patterns of consumers, traffic around the city, or anything else, you can tap into this information to make quick and informed decisions. For example, you have the potential to improve the customer experience if you know what people are buying. You also have the ability to reduce pollution or increase safety based upon the real-time behavior that you are tracking.

3. Keep Inventory In Stock

Have you ever run out of stock? This can be one of the worst things because if you don’t have stock, you can’t have good sales. Additionally, running out of stock can cause customers to lose their trust in you because you have let them down. They are now forced to find another supplier and once they do, it may be difficult for you to get them to return to you.

The Internet of Things has the ability to prevent stock-outs by connecting you with the supply chains more effectively. Whether you use data from social media and video surveillance or through mobile device usage, you can predict consumer behavior and shopping trends to know what people are going to be reaching for – and you can then be sure you have plenty of the necessary stock.

4. Pay-as-You-Go

Various options exist to provide cost savings for you and your customers. You can offer innovative pay-as-you-go services as a way of eliminating the standard subscriptions that so many people hate. It’s not in everyone’s budget and as you stay connected with the IoT, you can figure out more what people want and begin offering it to them.

5. Use More Assets

You have the ability to utilize more of the assets that you have within your business. Currently, you may have assets sitting around and wasting counter or floor space. However, once you connect to the Internet of Things, you can begin repurposing some assets as well as learning how to use other assets more effectively.

There is the opportunity to track assets using sensors. This allows you to stay better connected and obtain real-time insights. Further, you have the ability to locate the assets and provide preventative maintenance so that you can continue to improve your use of the assets that you have within your business.

6. Quick Responses

Currently, you may be waiting a long time to get responses. This could be responses from clients who are looking to do business with you, responses from suppliers, or anyone else. Once you are connected into the IoT, you have the ability to utilize real-time RFP systems and much more. This can help you to improve processes and get the answers you need immediately.

There are even ways to get instant feedback from consumers so that you can make changes immediately. If someone doesn’t like the flavor of something at a restaurant, they can click on their mobile device and you can walk into the kitchen to make adjustments. This can eliminate receiving negative feedback from multiple customers – and the same principle can be applied throughout many different industries.

7. Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is a big deal and many companies are already beginning to tap into this advantage. You may feel as though there is a big disconnect between the main office and what goes on out in the field. This can be eliminated entirely by connecting into the Internet of Things. This is because you can use various mobile devices to be able to connect with employees. The cloud gives them access to the information they need to do their job.

Further, sensors can be employed so you know where your employees are, what they are doing, and more. Surveillance and other tools can be used to ensure your employees are performing their jobs and this data can also be used to help you determine if additional employees are needed or if there are ways to improve the current way things are done.

8. Improved Productivity

Productivity is a big part of the advantages that can be found through the use of the Internet of Things. Imagine being able to improve labor efficiency once you have provided the necessary training for employees. The IoT can also provide the training for employees that they need ‘in the moment’ to be able to complete certain tasks.

9. Identify Issues

There may be various problems going on within your business. You won’t know about them unless you are well-connected into real-time data. You can use data that comes in from mobile devices, from reports, and from various sensor data. All of this can be used to identify problems and potential problems so that they don’t affect your ability to provide great customer service and don’t impact your profits for the negative. When your data comes in real-time, you can make adjustments so that operations aren’t too significantly affected by what is going on.

Identifying issues can also help you to look ahead and change some of the business models you have in place now. Digital technology, connectivity, and devices are changing the world for the better and when you change your business model to include the IoT, you can identify issues and address them so that you can have smoother operations and a better customer service experience.

10. Low-Cost Technologies

There is a myth that technology is expensive. While there are some programs that are expensive, technologies are becoming more and more affordable. This means you can choose technology that complements your in-house capabilities. You can also learn how to utilize the big data that you have and integrate it with enterprise systems so you have the ability to optimize the processes within your business.

Various aspects of connectivity is affordable. Sensor costs are declining, data storage is more affordable, and computing power is increasing. This is the tipping point that many businesses have been waiting for to be able to take advantage of the IoT. You can be better connected and have access to the various devices that are in and around your industry so you can be more on top of things.

Embracing the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is constantly evolving, and it can change everything. From what goes on in your home to what goes on in your business, the IoT is a revolution and the low-cost computing can be put to work within your own business so that you can achieve more success.

Once you are connected, it can change everything. You will have access to more data, more analytics, and this can lead to lower cost operations as well as more productivity. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – the connection can help you to succeed.

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Ben Obear
San Francisco