Beating your business competition: Reasons you can’t ignore the Internet of Things any longer

Keeping ahead of the competition can be challenging for any business owner. In an effort to ensure they’re able to stay a step ahead, marketers have been increasingly focused on the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and the impact it could potentially have on a business’s future success.

In fact, the more significant impacts are those resulting from businesses taking advantage of implementing IoT technology.

McKinsey estimates the total IoT market size in 2015 was up to $900 million. It’s also estimated that global spending on IoT technology products and services could exceed $470 billion by 2021.

Yet most business owners struggle to grasp the concept of what the IoT buzz is all about. Without really knowing what the Internet of Things is, how can you possibly keep up with the impact it could have on your business?

What is the Internet of Things?

Broadband internet has become more widely available. The cost of connecting to the internet is decreasing, which has led to more devices than ever being created with Wi-Fi capabilities already integrated into them.

Technology enthusiasts call such devices IoT technology.  Essentially, the concept is based on the ability to connect practically any device to the internet or to each other.

With so many devices all connected to each other, the future implications of IoT are virtually endless. The key is to fully integrate a business’ devices into a network, including mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to devices within the business premises such as desktop computers, desk phones, printers, and scanners.

The biggest impact of IoT technologies on businesses may be finding ways to effectively integrate connected devices into the business’s existing practices. ATB Technologies at atb-tech.com/it-consulting specialize in assisting businesses to properly integrate their existing devices to enable users to focus on convenience and speed, while still maintaining data security.

Key impacts of IoT on business

Any business seeking to keep up with and stay a step ahead of competitors can take advantage of IoT technology. When used correctly, the Internet of Things has the potential to create a positive impact on a business’s bottom line.

Some of the key impacts of IoT on business include:

  • Data: As IoT devices allow customers to connect and interact in new ways, business owners have the opportunity to gather more data about consumer behavior than ever before. Tracking and recording patterns of behavior makes it easier to target marketing efforts and focus product development plans more effectively.
  • Productivity: Some of the latest IoT developments offer the ability for business owners and employees to complete some tasks faster and with improved accuracy. Tasks such as data analysis, inventory tracking, and research can become more efficient, which could allow you to scale business operations and expand the business.
  • Accessibility: Users have the ability to research and purchase using a mobile device. They’re able to look for the precise product they want and compare prices available from a range of competitors in a few minutes. A business willing to take advantage of IoT technology has the opportunity to reach a new range of customers more easily than ever.
  • Remote work: Integrating all a business’s devices to the network offers new possibilities for employees to work remotely. The ability to complete new tasks while away from the office can help improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Improved customer service: With more people connected to smart devices than ever, it’s important for businesses to ensure they’re keeping up with customer expectations. Many customers want the ability to interact with a business, ask questions, receive answers, and leave feedback, all of which provide an astute business owner with valuable information about the effectiveness of current customer service levels.
  • Staffing needs: As new technology is implanted into any business, it’s possible that some staff members may become redundant in current positions and may need additional training to allow them to tackle new procedures and tasks with confidence.

The Internet of Things isn’t a passing fad or a trend. In fact, it appears that IoT implementations are only in their infancy with plenty of innovation still to come.

Every industry has an opportunity to capitalize on IoT. It has the capacity to change the way business will be done on every level.

Tom Sanderson works in a manufacturing industry and is always keen to implement technology into the business to improve efficiency as well as the bottom line.