IoT in the workplace – opening new opportunities for innovation
Technology has evolved over the years to a point where we are hyper connected today. Science, engineering and collective intelligence have come together to create the Internet of Things all around us.
But IoT isn’t limited to talking refrigerators and self-starting cars, Internet-connected devices that communicate with one another will affect our lives outside the “smart home” as well. The Internet of Things is changing the workplace, reducing operating costs, saving electricity and opening new opportunities for growth and innovation.
So here are several ways IoT can benefit your workplace and business:
- Data Analysis
Objects connected to the internet generate a huge amount of data. Knowing what to do with the data is what counts. Companies will have to rethink how they collect and analyse information to understand more about customers and trends, and tailor products and services accordingly.
Not only will decision-makers need to learn and adapt to a new form of data intelligence, but the amount and type of information produced by IoT will also introduce new roles for data analysts, strategists, and even customer service.
- Tracking everything, all the time
One significant way IoT will increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace is by making location tracking much simpler. As currently done in hospitals, Internet-connected equipment and devices will all be geographically tagged, saving time and money that would otherwise have been spent on tracking things down.
Tracking is especially beneficial to retailers and transport companies as it can trace the movement of goods from beginning to end, highlighting delays in the supply chain and showing how things could be improved.
- Smart offices
Embedding sensors in doors and ID cards can improve security in the workplace by sending alerts if they’re used at the wrong time or unused for a certain length of time. Also, employees could use a smartwatch to search for images or present slides during a presentation. Printers could sense when they were low on paper or toner and automatically order more supplies, while individual lights and thermostats could also be controlled automatically saving on electricity costs.
- Low cost and green manufacturing
Thanks to IoT, device interconnectivity will facilitate the adoption of “smart grid” technologies, which use meters, sensors and other digital tools to control the flow of energy and can integrate alternative sources of power, such as solar and wind. The Internet of Things will lower costs in the manufacturing business by reducing wastage, consumption of fuel and the discarding of economically unviable assets. IoT can also improve the efficiency of energy production and transmission and can further reduce emissions by facilitating the switch to renewables.
- Growing opportunities
With more automated processes that allow for better business strategies, businesses will be able to focus more on researching and developing new products. At the same time, IoT opens the door to many new business opportunities and streams of revenue. Smaller companies can think big, no longer restricted by where they are in the world. The length of time it takes for a product to be brought to market will be speeded up, and advanced marketing techniques will improve customer service.
By 2019, the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things will grow from 2.5 billion in 2014 to almost 24 billion, according to BI Intelligence estimates. Is your business ready?
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