The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It is the concept of connecting any device to the Internet and to other connected devices. It includes a wide variety of smart devices, from something as simple as a fitness band, which constantly monitors our heart rate and the number of steps we walk to the total calories burnt, to smart driverless cars with complex sensors that help us travel and securely across the city. IDC predicts that by 2020, the global spending on the IoT across markets will reach 1.29 trillion, a compound annual growth rate of 15.6 percent.
So, how will the Internet of Things affect businesses?
Marketers and entrepreneurs love data, and with IoT devices connecting consumers in new ways with more interactions, they will have greater access to data. Companies can start taking advantage of this by using data-based insights to come up with more effective advertising, and get to know their target on a more specific and qualitative level. Furthermore, sensors deployed as part of IoT devices can track and record patterns of consumer behaviour, and learn from them, making intelligent product recommendations and customising searches in new and innovative ways. Businesses use data to study buyer cycle, consumer requirement, the scope for improvement & innovative invention and methods for advertising & marketing. This data can be collected, shared and interpreted effectively with the help of IoT technology.
Thanks to cloud-hosted software and readily portable devices such as tablets, remote work is already a solid option for many professional positions. With IoT technology, multiple devices are wired into the same network and your remote working employees will be more connected than ever before, and may be able to accomplish new types of tasks from remote location by tapping into devices in offices or factory floors. Studies have proven that remote workers are happier and more productive, which will significantly improve the business functions.
3. Inventory Management
Does your business rely on storage and warehousing? Do you face issues with inventory tracking and management? Are your staff too caught in resolving inventory-related matters? With IoT technology, business can get a clearer and updated understanding of stocks and of their use of resources. IoT software and devices makes it easier to keep track of where things are, what’s sold or unused, what’s been damaged. Data obtained can improve efficiencies, ensure stocks and resources do no run out and help keep finances in check by preventing over ordering. In addition, by using smart technology, it can aid business to keep tab on inventory changes automatically, freeing up employees for more important, cognitively demanding tasks.
4. Efficiency and Productivity
With better information about consumers and market, the productivity of any business can be increased notably. The cost of upgrading devices may be exorbitant, but companies will end up paying less for staff and companies are capable to produce more products, thanks to the efficiency challenges IoT devices will have solved. More can be done in less time. Additionally, IoT developments allow workers to accomplish large-scale tasks including data management and analysis in a faster and error-free way. This will broaden the opportunity to expand your business and allow companies more easily connect with their customers and clients, preventing potential problems and creating new revenue. The increment in productivity and efficiency will increase your profits significantly.
As with any new technology, IoT can be confusing and intimidating. Here are the challenges of the Internet of Things:
As companies race to fill this highly competitive market, they tend to ignore some of the security issues of using this technology. As many of our everyday appliances, machines and services become connected to the internet, much more information is available. Therefore, it is harder to keep confidential information away from hackers and other unauthorized users with all of this IoT data being transmitted. According to a forecast from global IoT research firm ON World, by 2020, there will be 7 billion internet connected wireless sensing, tacking and control devices – a huge number of devices that if breached, could expose important user data. IoT has already become a serious security concern that has drawn the attention of prominent tech firms and government agencies across the world. For example, the hacking of baby monitors, smart fridges, thermostats, drug infusion pumps, cameras and even assault rifles are signifying a security nightmare being caused by the future of IoT. With more devices becoming connected and even more planned for the future, one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed to make IoT a success is making sure devices are safe. To protect against these threats, companies should consider how they could integrate an advanced cyber threat protection solution into their network.
2. Multiple Devices
One of the hardest challenges to adapt will be overall device management. The exponential growth of IoT means more and more devices will be using a network, which will in turn place an incredible strain on the networks. The result of using an overloaded network could means a drop in service, which most business would wish to avoid. Imagine having the Wi-Fi cut out for a few seconds for businesses – it could be catastrophic. Furthermore, companies would also have a hard time keeping all the integrated devices updated with the latest software and connected to the network. This will be both expensive and intense in terms of IT needs.
Although IoT has its challenges, its advantages of saving the consumer time and money can’t be ignored. As a result, IoT is almost guaranteed to become much more common in the years to come. Explore the fascinating world of IoT at Ingram Micro ONE APAC 2018, happening from 5 – 8 August at Marina Bay Sands. Featuring a dedicated IoT pavilion, you’ll get to opportunity to engage with domain experts from some of the biggest names in the industry. Visit to register for the event; event registration is by invitation only.