The Internet of Things can be a tricky concept to wrap your head around, and it certainly doesn’t help that so many new smart devices are being added to it day-in and day-out. Let’s take a look at what makes up the Internet of Things and why it’s important to know what it is from a business perspective.
About a decade ago, these new “smart” devices and technologies became extremely prevalent and started to add value to peoples’ lives, making them easier and more efficient. Naturally, businesses wanted to capitalize on the desire for these new technology solutions, leading to the massive growth of smart technology we see today.
And, of course, when consumers find value in smart technology, businesses inevitably do as well. There are now well over 14 billion IoT devices, including smartphones, connected to the Internet. The IoT is also one of the most well-funded technology markets out there with nearly $5 billion invested in it every year.
The IoT has several practical uses for your business, and they all come with their own unique challenges with integration and security. You also need to consider the fact that most if not all of your employees have a smartphone, a factor which could influence the applications your organization uses. Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that they are not inadvertently putting your organization at risk by bringing threats onto your network.
For enterprises and manufacturers, industrial IoT devices can impact operations and give employees better ways of getting things done. Therefore, you’ll have to train your employees on how to use them. Setting up IoT as a platform for business efficiency might mean building your infrastructure from the ground up with IoT in mind, or it might mean integrating applications with the back-end operations of your infrastructure.
It’s natural that businesses will use the IoT in ways much different from what you might expect a home user would, but that doesn’t mean these consumer-level tools can’t also save you money. You can use IoT devices to save time and resources with smart thermostats, lights, personal assistants, and so on… all adding specific value to your organization.
There are more complex solutions to utilize, too, like asset tracking and inventory management. While these can help you keep tabs on your supply chain and resources, they can quickly complicate your infrastructure if you don’t set them up properly. Still, they enable automation that could be a valuable tool for your company moving forward, enabling you to get data to make better decisions in the future.
To ensure your business is profitable and adaptable to change, you need to implement technology that can scale according to your needs while maintaining security. IoT can complicate this, as it creates several security discrepancies that must be considered if you want to maximize the value gained from using them. It’s true that businesses can use the IoT to cut costs and improve efficiency, but you’ll need to be strategic in their implementation to see these results.
Managed IT Force can help you assess your business’ needs and examine how IoT devices can improve your operations. To learn more, reach out to us at 724-473-3950.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.