The Internet of Things, or IoT, has grown to over 14 billion connected devices as of this year, and this number is expected to exceed 20 billion devices by the end of 2026. With such a shocking number of devices, you might wonder what types of devices are out there and what they mean for your business. Let’s look at the IoT and what you need to know to keep it at the top of your mind this upcoming year.
Even if you don’t have a specific plan in place to handle IoT devices, you already use them in some capacity for your operations. Employee smartphones are perhaps the most well-known IoT devices. Whether your employees use their personal devices or company-issued phones, they use these devices to perform work-related tasks both in and out of the office.
Just think about how you use your own smartphone. You might perform research into a product before buying it. Most people use their smartphones for this same purpose, looking into products before committing to them. Other uses include business communications, administration of business, and even productivity.
Other IoT devices might use your business’ network, even if you are unaware of them, like employee-owned wearable devices, smart utilities solutions for controlling HVAC systems, smart lights, and so on.
Many businesses understand that the IoT is something that can yield great benefits with a little smart investment. Some of these benefits can come from smarter systems, like inventory management, which can document additions or subtractions from your systems to ensure that you always keep an adequate supply of resources. Specialized IoT devices can do this automatically without the need to dedicate human resources to them, reducing costs.
The IoT can bolster the customer experience, giving you more ways to represent your business in the realm of ecommerce. If you can make your customer experience operations as transparent and user-friendly as possible, you can provide a better experience as a whole, making customers more likely to stay and for new customers to jump on board.
Sharing data is important to businesses of all kinds, whether they are trying to integrate IoT devices into an existing infrastructure or building an infrastructure with IoT devices in mind. Furthermore, the real-time data collection offered by IoT devices can be invaluable in making both long-term and short-term decisions regarding your operations.
The Internet of Things can be a helpful way of making meaningful changes to your operations and infrastructure. To learn more about how we can help your business use the latest and greatest technologies to your advantage, reach out to Virtual Business Solutions at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105.