Along with big data processing and cloud computing, IoT is one of the perspective evolving technologies in the early stages of market adoption.
It is clear that the flowering of this technology is still ahead. At the same time, the current level of IoT ecosystem development already allows companies to gain significant benefits in the fields of company management and product development.
In (relatively) simple cases, IoT technology is about an installation of various types of sensors followed by collection and analysis of huge amounts of data generated by them. But a bit more sophisticated strategy can allow the IoT technology to transform the business processes and whole industries.
The process of business transformation using IoT could be roughly divided into three phases:
1. Faster access to the larger quantity of significant data;
2. Improvement of business processes based on the insights gained due to the access to this data;
3. Design of a new business models and approaches.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these phases.
The speed of access to some kinds of information is crucial. Prompt notification of faults in the production equipment will obviously help reduce downtime of the production line. Or, if we take service industries like telecom, instantly identified problems like access failures or quality of signal would help companies to improve the user experience of its customers, thus ensuring themselves higher brand loyalty.
This quick access to significant data can also help to improve business processes and decrease losses. For example, transportation companies now can guarantee the safety of entrusted cargo due to the ability of control over transporting conditions through temperature and humidity sensors. Or think about this priceless information about free places on municipal parking available via special app on your smartphone. Also, some quick machine decision-making based on data gathered by sensors could be programmed. For example, restocking certain types of products can help managers to save time, so that they can dedicate it to more important tasks.
Finally, IoT gives businesses an opportunity to create new and unique combinations of physical products, related software, and services based on the analysis of data generated by sensors. John Deere Company is iconic in this relation. You can always look at them as a source of inspiration because it required a lot of creativity and expertise to enhance a product like a tractor and turn it into a powerful monitoring tool.
Follow these three steps in planning of IoT technology implementation within your company:
1. Identify a quantifiable KPI’s
Formulate targets, tied to your core business goals and define numbers that will testify about the achievement of the goals set for the project. For example, it could be a reduction of manufacturing defects by 10% or reducing by 5% the number of calls to the contact center, related to disruptions in the service provided.
2. Find a use case that fits your needs in the best way
Search for all use cases that could fit your targets, but keep in mind that although some IoT technologies could be applied horizontally, but the most of them don’t. It never hurts to seek the advice of external experts before taking far-reaching decisions to invest in a particular technology.
3. Pay special attention to security issues
Like many other technologies, IoT requires a thoughtful security strategy at every level of technology deployment, ranging from the sensors themselves and ending with the access to the data generated by them.