Research firms like Statista forecast that over 30 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 and that this number will rise to 75 billion come 2025. No longer just a tech industry buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a core technology influencing everything that consumers and businesses use on a daily basis.
The autonomous vehicle trend provides a creative example. By 2020, Gartner predicts that a fifth of vehicles on the road will have some kind of wireless connection. “Cars have been the most consistently evolving machines we use. Since it is now a connected micro-environment on wheels, there are several opportunities to open the car up,” says Kit Hughes, an IoT marketing thought leader and co-founder of Look Listen. For consumers, this takes the hassle out of their daily commute and it also results in fewer accidents. For car brands and manufacturers, these innovations open up new opportunities to innovate, to speak to new segments of the market and to expand their range of products.
To paint a picture of what IoT looks like across different industries, we’ve put together a short list detailing how these smart sensors will transform, and improve, existing processes:
- A new approach to inventory tracking
Using IoT, manufacturers can automate business processes, monitor product quality and manage resources. With the right IoT software in place, the role of the inventory manager can be expanded by mechanising the monitoring of stock levels and automatically ordering more stock when supplies need to be replenished. For food retailers, who deal with products that can have a very short shelf life, freezers and coolers can be fitted with sensors to regularly monitor temperatures and send out alerts should any temperature deviations occur.
- Transforming data collection and interpretation
Today, you need to know a thing or two about data. But given the sheer amount of data that modern organisations have to deal with, it’s no surprise that many are struggling to derive real business value from all of this information. Within the retail space, for example, the IoT provides access to an incredible amount of insight around customer experiences. These sensors make it possible to monitor buyer cycles, track buyer preferences and understand how users engage with your online platforms and products. For customers, this means a better, more personalised experience. And for brands, the IoT reveals new ways to streamline and optimise operations.
- Upping efficiency and aiding productivity
Unsure what may be holding you back or causing bottlenecks in your business processes? With IoT in place, you’ll be able to effectively track and monitor your workflows and then use this information to identify inefficiencies. Not only will these IoT insights allow your business to boost product quality, it will also free up time so that your staff can focus on more important, creative tasks.
- Boosting customer satisfaction
Customer experience is seen as a key differentiator for modern businesses. And the IoT is a great resource for any business looking to improve the service they offer to customers. We’re already seeing retailers rolling out cameras and sensors in their stores to monitor queue lengths so that they can open or close tills as demand fluctuates.
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