The power of the internet is known to all of us – we use it regularly and practically for everything in our lives. Not just our computers, but our tabs, smartphones, and televisions are also compatible with the internet. The concept of IoT is pretty simple – to connect the internet to all possible things in the world and to enhance communication.
What is IoT?
IoT or Internet of Things is all about prolonging the power of the internet much beyond electronic devices such as desktops, laptops, and smartphones to a whole lot of other systems, procedures, and environments.
It's opening avenues for business - according to a recent survey done by Forbes Insights. Out of 700 executives, about 400 are expanding or introducing new lines of business with the help of their IoT initiatives. And then, there is a considerable proportion (63%) of enterprises who are already delivering new or augmented service to the customers – all thanks to IoT.
Why is IoT important
When anything is connected to the internet, its capabilities multiply – it can receive and send information from every part of the world and make your life smoother and decision-making ability smarter.
Do you anymore bother downloading songs in your mobile or keeping photos stored in your device? A smart person will always make use of cloud storage and keep the devices’ space free. When a smartphone can request for a song from anywhere and stream it for you – why would you need any supercomputer with super storage?
In the Internet of Things, every device and every system is connected and can be broadly classified under the following three categories:
Systems that collect data and then send it: sensors of any type such as temperature sensors, motion sensors, etc fall under this category.
Systems that receive data and act upon it: there are umpteen examples under this category such as the printer which obtains information and prints documents, or the car door which opens on receiving a signal from the car keys.
Systems that can do both: the actual power of IoT arises when devices can do both - collect data, send it, and also receive it and act upon it. Think of your motion sensor which not only senses when someone steps in the vicinity but also sends a notification on your mobile to alert you. Another example of IoT is an irrigation system, which can collect information from the soil moisture and turns itself on depending on the humidity in the soil. When connected to the internet, it can further receive information about the weather and decide for you whether to water the soil or not, depending on whether it will rain or not.
Let’s see some of the benefits of IoT in today’s business and everyday life.
Benefits of IoT
Better measurement of productivity
Managers can understand how operations are flowing from data produced by the sensors positioned in construction systems, assembly lines, warehouses, and transport. This vast data help them to monitor the business vigilantly and take necessary steps to improve their performance. With the real-time data that flows in from data centers, production units, sensors, and IoT systems, the leaders are more aware of their current position vis-à-vis the industry standard. And with better insights into their company's performance, they can plan their future scope and innovations more competently.
A better understanding of the market
The market has grown much beyond questioners – analysts now prefer to use real-time data than relying on information which has been collected in the past (might be a few days back). It's so volatile that every single moment counts and every only reaction of customers matters.
Companies have started using cameras and other sensors to understand the kinetics of the customers. They want to get a better understanding of customer behavior - exactly know how the customers behave in a supermarket, or when they see some new product launched.These on-floor cameras, when synced to a cognitive intelligence or analytic systems, give retailers better insight into customer reactions to sales floor promotions and analyze future strategies accordingly.
Internet of Things is giving a new shape to the industries. The limitations of industries are expanding, and the desire to support multiple ecosystems are on the rise. Mutually, these forces are being the reason for the need of common podiums that can manage this complexity by coordinating devices and services seamlessly.
Breaking all boundaries, open sources can support nearly any system in any environment from any industry and have the prospect of transforming current business models. Companies can now utilize the data to pave their path towards a broader horizon. They can use the vast information for innovation and can participate in markets of any industry, appeal to new customer segments, and create new opportunities for revenue.
Enhanced customer service
As per the Forbes Insights report, around 392 companies are investing in IoT to work on the current customer experience they are providing. And about 294 have already been capable of expanding themselves in terms of delivering enhanced personalized customer experience.
With IoT, it is possible for companies to collate real-time data, which they can work upon quickly to resolve any issues and requests even before the customers raise them.
Real-time feedback on the fingertips of the analysts and the rational intelligence in IoT enabled systems help in enhancing customer experiences by discovering new insights about their purchasing habits.
The growth of the Internet of Things across different parts of the company and its networks can improve the digitization of processes, which in turn can help in cost-cutting. With IoT information from all around the globe can be on the palmtop with one touch. Data is more accurate, and decisions are more informed. Thus the overall efficiency of an organization increases by leaps and bounds.
For example, data is collected by sensors and not humans, vehicles can be routed through the shortest route, and drones can be used set up over oil fields to find out pipelines or field equipment issues.
Sourodip Biswas is a Digital Marketing Professional at Space-O Technologies, a leading IoT app development company that also has expertise in developing photo sharing apps like Instagram. He adores mobile app technology and regularly shares crucial insights by contributing blogs on various websites.