The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we interact with the world. Simply put, IoT means internet-connected devices. The device gathers information and relays it elsewhere, often sending alerts to your phone or computer.
Popular consumer IoT devices include:
- Alexa as a digital assistant
- Nest for home temperature control
- Ring doorbells with cameras and recording
These convenient devices are becoming widely accepted.
How can small businesses capitalize on the IoT trend?
1. Incorporate IoT devices into your products
Today, you see IoT devices EVERYWHERE. IoT technology has been built into water bottles, running shoes, baby monitors, dryers, refrigerators, cars – sending alerts to your phone to keep you hydrated, moving and replenished. How could you innovate your products to add convenience for your customers?
2. Use IoT to monitor equipment
Motorized equipment shows signs of trouble before it breaks down. Heat. Pressure. Volume. Speed. Usage. By attaching IoT devices to this machinery, you can be alerted of impending problems and dispatch a technician before you have downtime.
3. Collect data
Devices can collect lots of information! Now that cloud-based data storage is so inexpensive, you can pull this data into a business analytics tool like Power BI and look for patterns and emerging trends that can give you actionable insight, such as:
- What components are most likely to break down
- What inventory you need to have on hand
- What’s causing project delays
4. Increase productivity
Use IoT virtual assistants to reduce your administrative burden and free up staff for more important work. You can use virtual assistants to:
- Schedule meetings
- Replenish inventory
- Find information
5. Cut costs
Lower the office temperature when no one is working. Shut off machines not being used in production. Maintain equipment at the right intervals (based on actual usage) to extend equipment life. Your business can leverage IoT devices in much the same way consumers do – but you receive a much greater benefit!
Consider IoT Security
The blessing and the curse of IoT devices are their connectivity to the Internet.
Without proper security measures in place, individuals can take advantage of weak security settings to gain entry into your network or to gather sensitive information.
When incorporating IoT into your small business, hire a professional IT data security team to ensure you understand your vulnerabilities and take precautions.
Getting Started with IoT
If you’re interested in using IoT devices in your small business (or you’ve already started!), contact us. We can:
- Assess your data security risks
- Setup firewalls and take security precautions
- Integrate IoT devices with your business applications
Frequently Asked Questions
How can IOT help small business?
IOT can do a number of things for your small business including: saving costs, saving energy, more efficient equipment maintenance, and better workforce management.
How are small business using IOT?
Small businesses are benefiting greatly from IOT devices. They can record and transfer data, give new insights, and increase efficiency, without you lifting a finger.