Thanks to the emergence of increasingly new devices, we are currently on the cusp of a new era of business productivity. The buzz bubble around the word IoT has burst for the better. The Internet of Things technology is not a far-away fantasy world now; it is a reality that has changed and enhanced the way we operate our businesses. According to the experts, more than half of new businesses will run on the Internet of Things by 2020.
However, with the big promises, many managers are seeking the answer to this question: “how can the IoT realistically help their business work smarter?”So, we are going to see here the real IoT and how it’s enhancing the different sectors across the globe!
What is the IoT?
In most general form, the term, “Internet of Things” embraces everything which is connected to the internet. Moreover, its increasingly being used to define the target devices that majorly deals with the local network, the internet, and each other, that too Independent of human action.
Today there are millions of devices all over the world that are connected to the internet and are continuously and always collecting and sharing the data. IoT also used to refer to those that wouldn’t be usually expected to have an internet connection. Because of this reason, the IoT devices include not only computers, laptops, and smartphones, but also the objects which have chips equipped within, to gather and communicate data over a network.
Wireless networks and smaller yet more powerful processors have made it possible to turn anything like from a wish tank to an industrial machine, into part of IoT. As a result, these otherwise ‘dumb’ devices can bring together the digital and physical world and take over tasks done by humans previously.
According to Investopedia, the objective of the Internet of Things is to support the devices that self-report in real-time. Enhancing the efficiency and bringing the crucial information to the surface faster than a system depending on the human intervention.
Industries that mainly use IoT:
The industrial internet of things described the IoT as it used in several industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, oil, and gas, transportation, mining and metals, aviation, and other industrial sectors. Here are the top industries leveraging the increasing use of these interconnected devices:
The Automobile sector has been beneficial after the introduction of the IoT. The car GPS and self-driven cars without any human intervention are some of the instances of IoT introduced in the automobile industry. IoT assists the automobile companies to update the software and respond to real-time mechanical issues by integrating the data communication system. IoT also helps to improve vehicle performance. We can avoid accidents or road hazards as well by using IoT in the automobile industry.
For the manufacturing industry, the IoT is no more a new idea. Machine learning and smart sensors are being used by the manufacturing sectors in their manufacturing plants. They are not only using the IoT to optimize their manufacturing process but also to monitor and maintain their equipment.
And IoT in the manufacturing sector is used to increase the analytics functionality by tracking the factory assets. Many manufacturing companies have considered working on ‘smart manufacturing’ patterns to improve the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of manufacturing operations.
The study reveals that the ever-growing population to reach approximately 10 billion by the year 2050. And to feed such a massive population, one needs to marry agriculture to technology to obtain the best results. There are numerous possibilities in this particular field. The agriculture sectors are nowadays using IoT devices and equipment that are connected to IoT, like intelligent water control pumps, chemical level monitors, and so on. These smart equipment are used to analyze the soil, and air quality fit for agriculture purposes. IoT in agriculture allows in making real-time changes and, therefore, increasing effectiveness and efficiency in the process. The farmers are using IoT techniques to produce more and fulfill the demand of a growing population.
Energy & Utility industry
The energy and utility companies are using IoT to get better and improved results. Many soil and gas organizations and companies are using IoT devices in order to monitor and measure drilling lines. These devices not only optimize the process and but also minimize the expenses by measuring the speed of the entire drilling procedure. The use of IoT technology in the energy sector not only saves money but also saves time and energy.
As we know, the resources that the current medical research uses, lack crucial real-world information. It, in general, uses leftover data controlled environments and volunteers for medical examination. IoT opens ways to a sea of valuable data through analysis, real-time field data, and testing. The Internet of Things not only improves the current devices in power, precision, and availability but also focuses on creating systems rather than just equipment.
In the Healthcare sector, the lifesaving potential has been increased by IoT. IoT has been helping in improving the quality of life of the patients that too, by integrating the self-monitoring and management of health. For example, the hospital staff gets the notification and alerts about repairing and maintaining the medical equipment such as MRI machines, ventilator machines, cardiac monitors, and other devices with the help of the internet. This is helpful as the difference between life and death can be made through working medical equipment.
The introduction of IoT has changed in the hospitality sector has changed the face of traveling experience. They are using facial recognition intelligent systems that enable the managers to know their customers before arriving and check-ins. Moreover, IoT has won the hearts by innovating Sensors and emotion recognition cameras, which assists the hotel employees in order to capture the emotions of their guests, and this is how they would know whether they are hungry and then recommend them food. With this technology, the employees can make the custom meals available to their guests before they ask for it.
The finance industry is also enjoying the benefits of IoT applications in banking and finance. IoT has improvised the security of both the customers and the banks, as well. It has introduced many transformations in the banking sector, like mobile banking, ATM, Smart cash points, and so on. Making it easy for the customer in money transfer, cash deposit, and other financial transactions over the internet.
Ways through which IoT is making businesses more productive:
By increasing the possibilities of remote working, the employee’s productivity could be improved. Harnessing the connected devices implies that employees are no longer required to be in the same physical space as one another to coordinate. Cloud-hosted software and portable devices help the employees and managers to manage their work from anywhere via shared networks.
The data collected from the IoT is utilized in an incredible number of ways, and this what askes the IoT more beneficial for businesses. Another way the data is being harnessed is to help the day to day operations. For instance, some businesses are making the use of smart sensors in their buildings to see when individual rooms are mostly occupied and where employees spend the majority of their time. Employees can use this information in order to schedule meetings more efficiently.
Lowering energy costs
The IoT can help businesses and other big organizations make more efficient use of resources and minimize unnecessary expenses by allocating them effectively. For instance, the use of smart heating and lighting systems. Systems like the Nest Thermostat helps in reducing the energy expenditure from overuse of A/C’s and heating.
Improves the supply chain
The IoT is helping immensely to track the transport and product deliveries, helping you monitor arrival times and logistics more accurately. Smart tags and sensors allow us to keep track of inventory levels on a real-time basis and track the position of an item in a warehouse or store. This helps in efficient stocking, which also improves the company’s cash flow. Precise inventory tracking also means you can reduce over-ordering and make sure the most popular products are in stock in order to maximize profits.
Increasing office efficiency
Through the Internet of Things, technology comes the possibility of automation as well. Across a business, smart offices make use of numerous connected devices that monitor, control, and manage various operations. Using these to automate the repetitive tasks which are in general held by the employees, this can increase the efficiency and free up their work so that they can focus on more complex work. The developement of IoT also helps the team to perform tasks more efficiently and accurately.
According to an estimation by eMarketer, by 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) smart speaker assistants, for instance, Alexa or Siri, will have a user base of approx 76.5 million in the US alone. With this in mind, there’s a scope for productivity to be increased as AI assistants streamline tasks throughout by learning and grasping your habits and connecting with other devices to become part of the IoT ecosystem. Additionally, they also help employees to manage their daily schedules to use their time more effectively to be more productive.
Let’s look at the fact that the organizations are starting to invest more in both smart speakers for work and voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence applications that would provide an opportunity to the employees to interact seamlessly with virtual assistants to get the job done without even touching a keyboard.
An IoT empowered manufacturing process allows you to monitor and manage factory assets easily. Smart sensors detect and notify you of the issues and problems in real-time – more quickly than any person would. In case individual components break down, you could instantly find them through the data they send out, and you can replace them with ease before they can do more damage. This is specifically beneficial if you run a complicated operation that can be very costly to shut down when unexpected issues arise.
How to prepare for an IoT future?
Some things you should consider while implementing IoT devices are:
Appointing experts to interpret data
IoT sensors offer an endless flow of data that provides insights into how to improve efficiencies in enterprises or large organizations. But organizing the massive amounts of data from IoT devices is a big task. Its high time for companies to hire or train a team of data analysts assigned to interpret the data so that they can react to it and make strategic decisions accordingly.
Preparing for your data storage needs
Since IoT devices can collect a large amount of data, Cisco estimated that they would generate 847 zettabytes per year by 2021,22, and you’ll need to find a place to store them. The very first option is to invest in your own local data storage system. This would have a benefit of speed, but it is usually a more expensive deal, and the second is to look to a cloud storage provider. It can be a more cost-effective choice.
Focusing on cybersecurity
In a tremendously connected world, cybersecurity risks will continue to grow. Everything that’s connected to the internet has chances to be hacked. Moreover, IoT products are no exception. For Instance, A report from Samsung says the need to secure every connected device by 2020 is crucial. The firm’s Open Economy document reports that “There is an obvious danger that technology is running ahead of the game.”
The firm mentioned that over 7.3 billion devices would need to be made secure by their manufacturers before 2020. As devices are becoming more connected, security now has become the primary concern among the general public as well as for the businesses.
What lies ahead for the IoT?
According to the report by the International data corporation, the IoT spending will increase by $1.2 trillion by 2022. After looking at this data, it has been predicted that approx $6 billion would flow into the creation of IoT solutions, which also consists of application development, device hardware, system integration, data storage, security, connectivity, etc. It is predicted that those investments will generate $13 trillion by the year 2025.
5G will enhance IoT possibilities
With 5G connections, a combination of speed, responsiveness, and reach will unlock the capabilities of emerging technologies and is going to offer a boost to self-driving cars, drones, virtual reality, and the internet of things. Forbes has estimated that in the coming years, 5G will officially become an IoT enabler, which will also innovators gain the tools they need to solve previous queries and problems and create new conveniences.
“Manufacturers will expand and redevelop their factories and warehouses to support 5G networking, infrastructure, and security to create new 5G products and remake and reimagine old ones.” this would provide the businesses a sound strategy as well. Connected intelligence will flourish. Recently, there has been a considerable investment in the convergence of IoT and AI. In 2018, Microsoft announced its vision for Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge.
They would provide the users with a comprehensive service together that allows devices to perform artificial intelligence tasks locally but remain connected to the cloud for management purposes and to provide real-time data insights. This helps in building a useful framework for finding business solutions to everyday issues and inefficiencies. As this technology matures, we would be able to watch the scenarios for IoT develops beyond the traditional use cases we see today.
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