How Will IoT Change Office Technology and the Way You Do Business
Are you familiar with Rube Goldberg machines or chain reaction devices that use one event to trigger another? Once configured, these devices complete a task with little to no human interaction. Today’s Internet of Things (IoT) is similar to a more advanced version of a Rube Goldberg machine. However, instead of going in only one direction, the IoT allows data to be sent in both ways and with far fewer steps.
What is the IoT?
Let’s clarify what the Internet of Things is before going any further. It’s a system of devices sharing and collecting information with other local devices or via a wireless connection to the Internet. It requires a bit of configuration at the onset and some maintenance throughout its lifecycle, but you’ll experience the resulting impacts for years to come.
In our homes, we’ve already seen the infiltration of the IoT with smart speakers, smartwatch integrations, smart kitchen appliances, and smart thermostats. In the office, the IoT enables business owners and managers to do things like automate tasks, collect data, and gain more control of daily operations.
By 2025, an estimated 75.44 billion IoT connected devices are projected to be in use. Are you prepared for the changes coming to your office?
10 Ways IoT Will Change Office Technology and the Way You Do Business
Outside of energy efficiency, the IoT is bound to change office technology and the way we do business currently. Below we will explore ten ways the IoT will help your business to perform at a higher level than it does today.
1. Automate Tasks
Companies can automate everything from simple office tasks to manufacturing operations in a smart factory using the IoT and VoIP or an internet connection together. Using e-commerce integrations, built-in sensors, and other IoT devices, Harley-Davidson lowered its operating costs by $200 million at one plant. They also reduced their production schedule from 21 days to a mere six hours.
2. Conduct Remote Face-to-face Meetings
Management can use a telepresence robot to navigate around an office and have face-to-face meetings with employees via a screen. Whether working on-site or remotely, managers can visually check-in on their staff.
3. Save Energy
Using smart devices with the IoT, you can optimize lighting and temperature usage. Saving energy and controlling how often equipment is running extends the lifespan and is a significant cost saver.
4. Track and Reorder
IoT sensors on office supplies and inventory can aid in maintaining proper stock by triggering a VoIP telephone call or another type of alert when stock is nearing a predefined quantity. You’ll save your office manager and staff time, making them more efficient in their other tasks, and ultimately, grow your bottom line.
5. Monitor Equipment
Sensors can reduce equipment downtime by predicting maintenance needs before it’s an urgent issue. They can also send text or email notifications via a Business Internet connection when immediate repairs are required.
6. Reduce Shrinkage
Big-ticket items can be outfitted with sensors to monitor their location, thereby preventing theft. GPS also creates a way to find any lost or stolen products.
7. Create an Interactive Product Experience
Brands can use sensors to create a personalized experience for their customers. In 2015, Johnnie Walker’s smart bottles gave customers an interactive experience by scanning the bottle. Near Field Communication (NFC) sensors detected when each bottle was opened and provided unique messages to the consumer.
8. Understand Your Customers Better
Marketing and customer service can improve the customer experience with the data collected by your IoT devices. Customer service can quickly address any complaints or issues, and the marketing team can send individualized communications based on customers’ activities using real-time information.
0. Engage with Customers
About two-thirds of shoppers under 35 years old use their smartphones to research products while inside a store. By combining wireless Internet and beacon technology, companies can send discounts and other promotional messages to customers who are nearby or within the confines of the business.
10. Embed IoT Into Your Products
Many products available today added the IoT technology as an afterthought. Going forward, businesses that embed the IOT during the design phase of the product can create new value and aid in collecting data for future designs. The benefits will be great for those that can serve their internal process and the customer with the integration.
With the IoT, you’ll save employees time and make them more efficient, gather additional information about your customers and how you can serve them better, and find ways to be a more cost-effective organization.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. These changes are eventually going to make their way to you. Why not embrace them now and get a competitive advantage over others in your field?
Expect New Business Challenges With the Integration of the IoT
While the IoT has many potential benefits, the additional data collected by it will also result in new challenges. For example, the IT department will have an increased number of connected devices to maintain. Many of these devices may not have a screen and will need to be managed from a smartphone or other device. A reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) is essential for the success of integrating more technology into your business, but so too is having enough human resources to update and provide support for the devices.
You’ll also want to involve more than IT in analyzing the data. Here are a few of the departments that will be able to apply the collected information and improve their effectiveness:
- Marketing can use the information to drive their campaign strategies.
- Customer service and sales can help to engineer customer experience.
- Production departments can identify ways to streamline their processes.
- Management can use the data to recognize inefficiencies among employees and other aspects of the business.
Cybercrimes are on the rise, and security will be another concern your organization will need to address. Keeping your customer data safe and protecting your own network processes from hackers should be a top priority.
Take it Slow When Incorporating the IoT Into Your Business
Don’t let your excitement to incorporate more technology drive you to add too many new IoT devices. Instead, focus on current problems and how it can help. Take a look at where there are opportunities to create efficiencies across the organization and go from there. Start small, and then move on to more significant projects as you get more familiar with the IoT as a tool to improve the way you conduct business.
The IoT is bound to transform many industries. How will you use IoT devices to evolve the way you conduct business?
Support Your IoT Efforts With a Reliable Business Internet Service Provider
A robust IoT integration necessitates a fast and reliable Internet service. A Cox Business Representative can help you to find the right solution for your business today. Contact Cox Business now to get started!
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