The fear of missing out is something that we all have encountered at one time or another. It’s a common phenomenon in today’s world of connected things. Companies have FOMO big time. And if you are worried that your company is missing out by not using IoT, you are right – it is.
By the end of 2023, it’s estimated that there will be more than 29 billion connected devices in the world. Just the Industrial IoT market alone is expected to surpass $197 billion by 2023.
In a world where more and more things are connected, your business can no longer avoid using IoT. It needs to start using it today.
So why would you want to use IoT in the first place? What advantages would having this technology make your company grow and thrive in the competitive marketplace? Here are five for consideration, but they aren’t all the benefits available to you by using IoT technology.
1. Reducing expenses
One of the biggest reasons companies are turning to IoT is the benefit of enhancing their BPM (Business Process Management) and the promise of reducing expenses. Whether it’s reduced production costs, lower maintenance costs, or reduced insurance payments as a result of security improvement, IoT promises the reduction of expenses, thanks to better insight.
Companies can harness the power of the data that sensors and edge devices collect. They can analyze it better. They can make more informed decisions.
For example, if a company decides to enable IoT for their machinery to benefit by automated maintenance, the cost reduction can be substantial. Think about it – with no more scheduled maintenance that may be unnecessary, and with the proper treatment of machinery and equipment, production companies can avoid downtime completely. IoT can provide a “just-in-time” equipment maintenance program that will avoid costly machine replacement. With proper insight, you always know the remaining useful life of a part of a device.
Maintaining machinery in this way is cost-effective, easy, and painless. When the machine needs fixing, the parts have already been ordered, there is no waiting for technicians, and everything is organized in advance.
With real-time data at your fingertips, unprecedented opportunities present themselves for production plants.
2. Production monitoring
A company, in Tuscany, needed to improve their monitoring and management of biogas that was being generated in their waste management plant. They especially wanted something that could replace all manual checks that their employees did on the biogas wells that were located on company grounds.
This is why we installed the 4ZeroBox into a system for monitoring the production of biogas. Multiple sensors constantly monitor the levels of CH4 and O2, along with temperature, pressure, and humidity. Thanks to this real-time solution, manual checks are no longer necessary.
Of course, replacing manual checks inside the biogas wells spread across the plant reduces maintenance costs; moreover, it increases efficiency and safety as well.
3. Creating New Revenue Streams
IoT provides a great opportunity for companies to increase their revenues by enabling additional features on their existing products and transforming their business model. This runs the gamut from just selling physical products, to offering services. The “Everything-as-a-service” trend is well on its way to becoming one of the main ways of increasing revenue in the future.
For example, what if a company decided to charge for its asset tracking devices and software, not by the unit, but by the amount of time a customer wanted to use it? They can enable an entire new business model that suits their customer’s needs better. The company can create a bespoke monitoring service for their customers; thereby, generating revenue at will.
Let’s take a look at a more product-oriented example – if a company that produces professional coffee machines, decided to enable a new line of machines by installing IoT technology. They could offer a new service to customers for ordering coffee automatically, based on previous coffee consumption. So, whenever the machine registers that the level of coffee is too low, it automatically orders a new batch. This can be further reduced to different types of coffee, different combinations, etc. You get the idea.
4. Gaining insight
Let’s now take a look at smart retail. We know that in ecommerce, you can mine all sorts of information about your customers, by tracking their behaviour online. But can you gather similar insights from brick-and-mortar stores?
The answer is that, with IoT, you can.
We implemented a smart retail solution a few years ago, in major Paris jewelry stores. The solution can track the behavior of people who are window shopping. It gathers data like how long someone stood in front of the shop window, what they spent the most time looking at, etc. With information like this, stores can look at the data and easily change their display windows, engage more people with their brand, and, ultimately, get them in the store.
In this example, the store window is like the homepage of an ecommerce website. So, why shouldn’t businesses use the same data and the same tactics?
5. Better customer service
Automation and real-time data – that is what can give your customers better service.
Since, as you know, IoT devices incorporate a lot of sensors and peripheral devices, they can gather all sorts of data.
For example, a company that produces HVAC systems can gather data that people prefer colder temperatures inside the house when the outside temperature is above 40 °C. They can then set up an automated system that sets the appropriate temperature, based on the preferred user behavior. Now, the system can start functioning autonomously and keep the home temperature optimized. This further enhances the customer experience for IoT devices.
If a product takes care of your needs, without you even having to lift a finger – that is excellent customer service.
IoT technology presents endless opportunities to modern businesses. It can be leveraged to enhance business operations. Specifically, IoT devices can be used to streamline business operations, increase productivity, improve the customer experience, and, finally, grow your bottom line. IoT technology is here to use so the decision-makers can drive business growth and profits.
Industries and environments are heterogeneous and will have differing IoT implementations and models. What can work for one industry might not work for another. If you are planning to create an IoT strategy for your business, it is advisable to find a trusted consultant. The success of any IoT implementation is not just dependent on the technology used but also on the underlying strategy.