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For the past several years there has been a steady stream of news hitting the public consciousness about the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT are all the “smart” devices that have been on the market. Some are designed to make managing your utilities more effective; some have been rolled out for businesses to make inventory management and distribution more efficient; some are just commercial products that provide ease of use or analysis that can make a person’s life easier. What you are beginning to see are these smart devices rolled out for more important purposes. This month we wanted to dedicate an article to the innovations we are seeing in the IoT, and how they are ultimately going to change the way things are done.
We summarized it up above, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Internet of Things in theory, you probably already are in practice. Smart devices are everywhere, after all. The Internet of Things is the name for the ecosystem that supports the millions of devices that can be connected to the Internet. These devices bring a lot of options where only a short time ago there were none.
To be a smart device, not only does it have to have some utility, it also has to be able to be connected directly to the Internet. For years it was hard for small businesses to come up with an effective strategy to use IoT devices because of the perception—in many cases rightly—that the security risks were simply too high. Today, however, innovations to IoT device effectiveness and security, plus an understanding of just how to strategically leverage smart devices, has made IoT an option for the growing business. Let’s take a look at three ways small businesses can incorporate smart devices into their business.
For most businesses time is the x-factor. How long your team—or even an individual—takes on a certain task is the difference between profit and loss. One way that IoT can really benefit a business is by using mobile devices, often your employee’s mobile devices, to get an idea about how to maximize productivity. This may seem like a rudimentary way to use technology, but think about how much money your organization wastes in inefficiency each year? If you could make faster decisions to maximize your staff’s use of time, you can cut out a lot of inefficiencies, no? By linking computers to mobile devices, you can get more out of your team, period.
Some of the most utilized IoT devices for the home can be used for small businesses to help maximize value. Smart devices can be used to more effectively manage your business’ energy consumption. You wouldn’t believe what you can save by linking your business’ appliances, machines, and other equipment up to smart devices that modulate their controls. Regardless whether your business chooses to use smart devices to lock doors, modulate lighting or temperature, you can see substantial cost savings over time.
They are called smart devices for a reason. Using IoT-connected technology can help your business get smarter. Since these devices are on your network and constantly collecting data, there is more of it to make more informed decisions. This in itself makes your business smarter. Think about it this way, a few years ago, it would have been impossible for a small business to get the insight into their business that they can get today with very minimal investment. For example, with smart door locks and access control systems, you can track when and who accesses certain areas of your facilities, which can lead to greater accountability and security over time. Another example utilizes RFID tagging for merchandise and inventory management that ties directly into your inventory software. This can speed up processing and acquisition, while also showing you direct trends.
If you would like to learn more about the Internet of Things or simply how to use the IoT for your business’ benefit, don’t hesitate to reach out to the IT professionals at Preferred by calling 708-781-7110.