Procurement 22 August 2018

How your small business can use IoT to improve performance and productivity

Internet of things
Consumers, as well as businesses, are becoming more used to being able to connect one service to another

According to Statista, the worldwide installed base of connected devices – the Internet of Things (IoT) – will double in just five years from 2018 to 2023, ballooning from 23 billion to more than 50 billion.

This means we are all likely to see improved functionality in our daily technology use, but it also means there is no better time for businesses to ride the IoT wave and use it to improve service offerings as well as performance.

Nick Thompson, managing director at DCSL Software, explores the current abilities of IoT and how businesses can best apply them.

What and Where?

Regardless of your industry, it’s worth considering ways in which you can adopt the innovations of IoT and enhance your offering. Consumers, as well as businesses, are becoming more used to being able to connect one service to another, to have a richer or more profitable end result.

  1. Smart door locks

Smart locks have been around for a while, but they have recently started to become a very popular option for multi-tenant property owners such as Airbnb hosts. Brands like RemoteLock and Latch have grabbed a large chunk of the smart lock market by providing cloud-generated door codes, time-restricted access and keyless entry options.

There are of course many business scenarios where smart locks can help to reduce costs overall.

Any organisation that requires many individual entries and exits will welcome the option to not have to handle keys or access cards, if it means they can still offer the same customer experience and same level of security – or higher.

The overheads of producing and managing keys can easily be reduced or eliminated through the use of locks and virtual keys managed in the cloud.

  1. Interactive Assistants

The market for interactive learning toys is in itself an interesting one, but there are also many business scenarios where connected devices can play a really strong role in the workplace.

For example, imagine a factory where each machine is able to teach you how to use it – or an office where interactive assistants are helping staff members to structure their day by prioritising or automating tasks.

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  1. Tracking

Tracking technology can save money for businesses in various ways, but it is also an area that needs to be managed very closely in terms of what data is being monitored – and how it is then used.

The most cost-effective tracking solutions will be the ones that can quickly add value to the business by reducing manual monitoring, whilst also by-passing any issues of sensitive data storage.

There isn’t much that can’t be tracked and monitored using a connected device, but vehicle tracking can make a big difference to your business. Implementing this system will allow you to keep an eye on trip logs and location boundaries in real time – while also tapping into vehicle health data to keep you fully updated on the car’s condition and performance.

This can help avoid accidents due to wear and tear, as well as help keep an eye on the duration and length of the trips each driver is taking to ensure staff wellbeing.

  1. Health

Connected devices that interlink with the human body is a growing market, but it’s still something that many people feel a great deal of hesitation around, as it in many ways blurs the lines between human and machine.

However, for any business involved in clinical trials or drug development, man-made solutions and IoT technology will most likely play a huge role in order for them to be competitive in the future.

For example, the Wyss Institute is in the process of developing microchips which mimic the activity and responses of human organs. This means they can create complete models of how the various organs of the human body interconnect and communicate with each other – allowing pharmaceutical companies to quickly develop and test new drugs without the need to run costly trials.

Is your business ready?

Apply IoT to the right areas of your business and you will soon see its ability to deliver many benefits to your organisation. To ensure you get the most out of your connected devices make sure there is always a strategic reason behind their adoption, always first consider the ways in which you would like your business to grow and where your key development areas are and then how IoT might be able to help achieve the business aims.

Working with the right development partner is the best way to ensure your IoT project will be a success.

As well as knowing the ins and outs of the technology, and the best ways to use it to help power your business, developers can also bring extra creativity and ideas to the table that will make sure you end up with the ideal solution.

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Business development