Posted on: February 3, 2016

By now, you’ve likely heard of “The Internet of Things” (IoT), and have probably even adopted an IoT mentality — whether you’re conscious of it or not. While the term may seem mysterious and elusive, the concept is quite simple: any device with an on and off switch can be connected to the Internet and to one another. Take a thermostat system that you can control remotely with an app, or a home alarm system that you can monitor from your work computer, for instance. These are prime examples of IoT and how it can simplify your daily life. What about business, though? Can IoT impact the way your enterprise operates on a day-to-day basis? The short answer is, yes. A more detailed explanation follows with three key ways that IoT will improve businesses:

1. Smarter Business Decisions

Data is a major part of IoT. Tiny sensors can be attached to anything and everything, no matter how large or small. The devices then report back to businesses on how their products and equipment are being used, how long they are lasting, when they are malfunctioning, and what improvements could be made that might cater to users in the future. Microsoft, for instance, relies on software that continuously gathers data on the features that are most frequently being used for its products. This allows them to focus on the most popular and get rid of what’s not being used. Another example comes from Rolls Royce aircraft engines. These engines are built with sensors that report back to monitoring systems on the ground in real-time in order to detect possible malfunctions before they become catastrophic. These are just a few of the many ways that businesses can leverage the power of sensory data to improve their decision-making processes and product development.

2. Development of Smarter Products

Remember when a telephone served only one purpose? Although it’s hard to believe, there was a time when we only expected our phones to have the ability to make and receive calls. That concept has shifted extraordinarily as today’s users expect to be able to call, text, create and watch videos, play games, obtain GPS coordinates, gather information, and so much more. So is it really that much of a stretch to believe that anything has the ability to benefit from smart technology? The idea of a “smart” tennis racket or frying pan could seem ludicrous at first glance, but really, why not? Businesses have an exciting opportunity to create smart devices from anything in a way that improves user experience. While only time will reveal which concepts will stick and which will prove to be unnecessary, the point is that companies have the chance to be creative and innovative with their products and, in doing so, to boost business and sales.

3. Changes in Business Models

The Internet of Things has the potential to usher in major changes to the business models of many companies. To prove this point, take a look at John Deere. Here’s a company that has focused for decades on selling tractors and farming equipment and nothing else. In the past several years, though, IoT has shaken things up. Now through the addition of data connectivity to farm equipment, John Deere provides farmers with data about which crops should be planted where and when, the times when it makes most sense to plow, and the most efficient route to take while doing so. In other words, John Deere doesn’t just sell tractors anymore — they sell data. The moral is that, regardless of your industry, you can take advantage of IoT and alter your business model for the better.

Start embracing the Internet of Things and see how your business can improve by working with the experts at Uncommon Solutions today.