5 ways the Internet of Things will change your business

by Scott Koegler

The Internet of Things (IoT) leverages network connections to facilitate communication between devices and systems. Companies have been deploying smart devices in many new ways to enhance their businesses.

Here are four trends you should pay attention to:

1. Continuous customer engagement

Adding “smarts” to products can give users the ability to interact with and control appliances and other household products by using network connections and the Internet. These same communication capabilities can be used to monitor products and provide proactive support.

For example, if something needs servicing or otherwise fails, a message can be dispatched to both the customer and to the manufacturer’s customer service system. Similar functions are now available in some cars, and IoT technology will extend these services to other devices, such as security systems or even light bulbs.

2. Business process monitoring

What is measured can be improved. Manufacturing is already highly monitored, but IoT will bring detailed monitoring to other areas of business, including office work and field operations.

Wearable devices are sensors that are applied to individuals and that can monitor activities and record information. These specialized sensors and what they communicate can deliver more data to provide deep analytics that businesses can leverage—which can enhance productivity and help lower costs.

3. Automated services

The shipping industry can now deploy IoT sensors on vehicles and packages that can maximize visibility of supply chains and improve transport operations of valuable cargo. These sensors can detect changes in temperature, light, and other attributes, and data can be used to mitigate risks of delays, disruption, theft, and more.

Real-time alerts allow dock crews to be at the right place at precisely the right scheduled delivery times, and with the equipment needed to increase efficiencies. Historical data from past shipments can be used to improve control over future transportation operations.

4. Expanded Big Data

Sensors deployed as part of IoT devices produce data that can be stored and analyzed as part of existing analytics creating entirely new classes of findings. Applications including distribution, food, and shopping can already send previously unavailable data about movement, temperature, vibration, light, and other discernible conditions across network connections to data repositories.

5. Embedded IT

The change from adding IoT “smarts” to existing devices and creating devices with IoT components built-in will be transformative.

Progressive companies are creating modules that are designed to be built into their products, looking at the information about their products, and designing sensors that monitor specific conditions. The intelligence to deal with the data is created before the product design is finalized, so that IT is part of the product, rather than added to it.

IoT technology is already changing how businesses work and compete. With your operations in mind, you should be investigating and deploying solutions where they will create the biggest benefits.

To learn how IoT solutions can connect and monitor assets from virtually anywhere, visit AT&T IoT.