How can businesses benefit from the Internet of Things in 2021 and beyond?
The popularity, adoption, and use of IoT in businesses is accelerating at a good pace. Why? Well, the answer is simple. We are creating data at every juncture of our daily life. How? Let’s give you a simple example of the smartwatches that are tracking our daily steps. Or the heart rate data they collect and store on the cloud for comparison. Our hobbies, our places of visit, our Wishlist, everything is a form of data.
There are various benefits of these data sets, both for the consumers and the product manufacturers. IoT refers to the interconnection of devices that collect, transmit, and store data at a centralized library or inside individual silos. This architecture of connected devices is not restricted to smart mobile devices. As a matter of fact, IoT is driven by a wide variety of devices such as smart bands, watches, cars, thermostats, and lighting.
Internet of Things — Number of connected devices worldwide 2015–2025
The above graph predicts the number of connected devices in the world by 2025. As we step into 2021, the world will be centered more around user security and following the health & safety guidelines declared by the respective government.
How can organizations benefit from IoT?
In the business world, IoT devices
- record and transfer data for monitoring critical processes
- provide new insights to businesses
- help them boost their efficiency
- allow them to make informed decisions.
They take the guesswork out of the business process and tell the companies what is happening, rather than assume them. The data millets they collect are processed by the data analytics and AI systems for identifying necessary user behavior.
Let’s take a look at the various ways IoT will enable business growth.
1. Reduction of operating costs downtime
IoT-based predictive maintenance helps to reduce maintenance costs of factory equipment by up to 40 percent. — McKinsey
One of the significant benefits that businesses can derive from IoT insights is reducing their downtime and operational costs.
The digital twin technology has seen rapid emergence in the modern business front. The digital models of the physical assets built using real-time data are considered a crucial differentiator in IIoT applications.
Just imagine the cost incurred due to the downtime caused by the failure of one small but critical component in an industrial installation. The solution: take every part of that installation and store it inside a digital twin.
By doing so, engineers can forecast the downtime, if any, one week before the said failure. Such a model will also allow them to check the failure’s e exact location and replace it in time — the result: brief scheduled maintenance with the timely replacement of the necessary part.
Applying such a fine-tuned technology is beneficial for reducing operational costs and system downtime in factories and other industrial installations. In doing so, the factories also enable their workers to learn about their machines working on the job via tablets, AR headsets, or smart goggles.
When we talk about the manufacturing industries, IoT devices are used to monitor equipment and minimize downtime by predicting failures or misalignments in their production or assembly line. Manufacturers can also save a lot more on energy costs and improve their machine’s electrical efficiency. They can do so by using IoT and smart building systems to monitor and control unnecessary usage of electrical systems. IoT solutions enable firms to cut down on their operational costs and still maintain a competitive advantage.
2. Understanding of consumer behavior with connected devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) currently consists of 27 billion devices — ContentStack
For every business out there, understanding customer preferences and behavior is critical to their success, especially in the retail sector. By introducing IoT to their business process, retailers or other businesses can seamlessly collect, monitor, and analyze data from
- video surveillance
- social media
- internet usage
This data pool allows firms to predict user preferences and trends to tailor their product offerings and even the discounts and other offers for better customer engagement.
Having access to the customer profiles built from the data collected by the IoT and connected devices, businesses will retain their audience and foster brand loyalty amongst their patrons.
Data collection for understanding customer behavior, decision-making, and preferences has often been used to introduce specific customer recommendations.
As a generation driven by social media, you have seen this happening in real-time. In conjunction with the artificial intelligence (AI)-driven recommendations, businesses have also introduced various other digital experiences for their customers.
- Digital wallets accelerate payments using biometric security for the smartphone owners
- Smart mirrors help consumers proliferate through a wide range of in-home personal choices
- Beacons enable customers to be greeted with offers and discounts for enhancing their in-store experiences
These devices accumulate the data for businesses; they just need to add a processing unit to fetch them the desired result. IoT devices will capture behaviors and identify deep patterns that can then be turned into actionable information.
Understanding customer behavior goes even further. Retail businesses and manufacturers can use smart connected devices to assess workers’ physical motion in a factory or warehouse. This information can be additionally used for optimizing the daily processes. The same can be done inside of a retail store.
An average shopper has distinctive product browsing and buying behaviors, especially when they enter the store to buy a particular product. They know where to find it, grab it, and get done with the entire purchasing journey. On the other hand, when a person already has a list of items they want to purchase, they will move from one part of the store to another and only occasionally be vulnerable to an impulsive purchase. And then some customers wander the store without a list or focused purchase intent. All of these behaviors and the physical patterns can be recorded by IoT sensors, beacons, and other connected devices to enhance the retail experience,
- placement of specials in kiosks
- the layout of a store
- presentation of items on shelves
- display presentation
Every part of this journey can be AI-derived and driven by fetching important customer-centric data.
3. Improving customer service and experience
85% of firms will implement or plan to implement IoT solutions. — Forrester
This point is almost similar, or we can say it is a part of the point mentioned above we just discussed. Customer experience is an essential factor and plays a vital role in deriving profit from their business process. But it should not be just any type of customer service. It has to be a flawless one.
IoT technologies such as mobile card readers will seamlessly connect with customers’ smartphone devices for providing ease of transaction. Another such tech is the smart tracker that enables your customers to track their shipped products. Involving these technologies will help retailers improve their customers’ experience and overall satisfaction.
Retailers can efficiently utilize hyper-local advertising and offer an enhanced experience to their customers. Utility providers can use IoT solutions for identifying problems and proactively resolve issues by applying smart grid technologies and smart meters.
4. Improving the workplace and public safety
On average, about 128 bridges collapse in the United States every year. — Digital Commons
With the current pandemic, public safety officials already have their hands full. And they will require all the help they can get to keep the public safety measures on-point.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will be playing a crucial role in deriving essential insights. When the residents’ safety is at stake, the said data needs to be reliable and accessible 24/7.
By using the critical data generated by IoT devices and merging them with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, officials will manage to predict various locations in a city and detect
- Number of diseases reported
- Any damage detected by measuring shifts
- Measure the vibrations in structures that indicate cracks, extensions, or excessive strain
If we consider the work safety factor, IoT devices and modern sensor technology can help out employers. With the help of embedded sensors and wearables, workers in high-risk environments can be continuously monitored and warned.
Conclusion: With IoT at the helm, 2021 and the year beyond hold a lot of potential
Rapidops has established itself in the field of advanced IoT with its digital transformation efforts. We have been helping various organizations turn their ideas into a working, ROI-driven profit machine.
You can check out the work we have been doing and see the digital marvel we have created for our esteemed clients. When clients are migrating from their legacy systems, we understand that they require digital partners that can help them with a smooth transition that is not too heavy on their pocket.
Rapidops has created 200+ digital products that our client’s end users love. Be it having personal sales assistance, be it allowing them to add products with voice or transforming managed — printing with digital & IoT, we have made our mark in the digital business.
If you would like to discuss the next step of IoT enablement and sensors in your business process, let’s have a chat and proceed forward from there.