How Can IoT Be Used in Business?IoT brings businesses to a new age of automation. And it applies to companies of different sizes and from various industries, so the conclusion is pretty simple: your company may benefit from IoT as well. So, what are the top reasons why companies should implement IoT?
Increased efficiencyIoT enables monitoring of your internal business processes, so it grants you a higher level of visibility. This way, you obtain real information on the performance of your operations, like production, supply chain, or many others, and find out opportunities for optimization. 83% of organizations that adopted IoT have claimed that their business efficiency had significantly grown, according to Aruba Research Report.
Smart, cost-effective approachesYou can find many ways to make use of IoT and most of them will help you cut expenses. For example, IoT can manage the electricity and water consumption in your office, store, warehouse, or shop floor. You will only pay for the resources that you actually use. According to Escolar, a smart lighting system can save around 35% on your electricity bill.
Prolonged life of the equipmentIoT application brings the most value when it is combined with other cutting-edge technologies, like artificial intelligence. And one of the most expedient manifestations of such integrity is predictive maintenance. The idea of predictive maintenance is to support and fix machinery before it actually breaks down and blocks the production activities. The IoT sensors constantly monitor the equipment condition, while AI uses this data to create a prediction and determine when the maintenance should be done. Deloitte states that predictive maintenance increases equipment availability by 10-20% and reduces maintenance expenses by 5-10%.
Ensuring safety in the work environmentAt its core, IoT is a great technology to improve safety measures in your company. You may apply IoT in different forms here: for example, remote access to heavy machinery powered by IoT eliminates the need for humans to approach and interact with dangerous equipment. Wearables may be used to track the health condition of workers in hazard zones and notify if their state becomes critical. IoT, if implemented correctly, is a precise technology: it eliminates human involvement and decreases room for mistakes. Constant monitoring and tracking will prevent work-related injuries and generally create a safer environment.
IoT business opportunitiesThe main reason for adopting IoT is cost reduction. However, let’s contemplate the situation more clearly: IoT optimizes processes, generates data that shows valuable insights on your operations, custom behavior, supply chain, etc. Hence, you get two great advantages: additional resources in the form of saved time, costs, or employees that will have time for other responsibilities, and information on your performance. Combining them, you may come up with ideas for new products, services, or approaches to business operations.
IoT Business TrendsIoT infiltrated medicine, manufacturing, retail, and many other fields. The IoT business opportunities get wider as more and more enterprises embrace it. The popularity of IoT in business increased with the pandemics, as companies have experienced a strong need for automation and decreased human involvement in the processes where it is possible. Vodafone’s survey claims that 84% of businesses successfully used IoT to adapt to the new reality last year. So, what are the current trends and challenges in the IoT?
HyperautomationAutomation isn’t a new concept, especially for industrial organizations. However, it doesn’t provide global connectivity between the whole company, rather between the individual departments. Hyperautomation, on the other hand, overcomes this challenge and creates a complete system that synchronizes all company’s departments. IoT plays a significant role in this process. Connected sensors are designed to gather valuable info about the assets and operations. This way, the company has a constant flow of precise information that can further trigger other robotic solutions. Hyperautomation also indirectly helps your employees: technologies become in charge of routine tasks, and your staff has more opportunities to express creativity and apply themselves to more advanced assignments.
Custom relationship management powered by IoTAnd we don’t just mean smart home devices that can send the data about any problem directly to the manufacturer. CRM systems can use IoT-generated data to better record customer experience, their problems, and their wishes. Custom services will improve as well. Imagine a situation: a client wants to know when their delivery will be done or whether this or that product is now available. It’s quite possible that the client manager will take some time to check inventory, and clients will be forced to wait. With IoT, the manager will have this info at hand and quickly update the customer.
Integration with other solutionsAs we’ve already mentioned, IoT is usually used to gather data, while other technologies like AI or ML leverage this data to solve business tasks. AI and IoT integration are some of the most popular combinations: IoT provides information, then AI analyzes it and makes balanced changes into your processes or creates predictions that will boost your results.
IoT and blockchain integrationThe speedy development of IoT leads not only to the successful implementation of these technologies into our lives but also to creating dangerous situations. Sensational hacking of smart devices via Mirai is a good example. That means security is what IoT needs most of all. Meanwhile, blockchain is now used not only for transactions between users but also in a wide range of fields, including financial markets, the gaming industry, public administration, etc. The tandem of a blockchain and the Internet of things gradually forms the basis of a new concept called “programmable economics.” “With the Internet of things (IoT), things become smart, connected to each other, and more focused on increasing the role in the life of each person. The current concept of IoT lacks a critically important component — monetization. The success of the Internet of things will be achieved through the development of a new economic platform and the corresponding monetary model. Monetized “things” will predetermine the development of a new economy,” said David Furlonger, vice president and board member of Gartner. Thus, the IoT and the blockchain open vast opportunities, both for the automation of everyday tasks and for decision support systems and the robotization of high-tech industries.
IoT Implementation RisksWe can highlight more the value and impact of IoT — as you can see, we are clearly fans! However, it is worth mentioning that there is a set of challenges you should be prepared for before diving into the world of IoT. [yop_poll id=”31″]
SecurityThe protection of IoT devices from cyberattacks has become the biggest challenge, and therefore, a critical trend. If someone gets access to your connected devices, it might lead to a disaster. Unfortunately, IoT devices are often made without sufficient security measures in place, and users aren’t aware of such weaknesses. This leads to data leaks, security breaches, and hackers who gain remote access to IoT devices and internal business networks. So, when your organization adopts IoT, discuss the security issues with your IT department and create a plan on how to ensure the protection of smart devices.
Data managementIoT devices can transfer a lot of different data from different locations. In the beginning, you may face the challenge of handling these volumes. The difficulties may arise in data processing, data storage, or further data management. As the majority of IoT data is used for analysis, there is also a question of data cleaning, as well as advanced memory processing technologies.
InteroperabilityIt’s no wonder that IoT is also known as connected devices. So, the devices should communicate with each other, and here is a catch. There are many devices manufacturers and the IoT system that shares the main concepts: sensors and connectivity but the other aspect may need some adjustments and rearrangements.
Lack of technical expertiseIoT is at least a decade old and only gains popularity exponentially. But it’s still an innovative technology, and there is a tiny chance that your IT team has experts in Internet of Things app development, implementation, and support. Existing staff may not have enough time to run the implementation of this technology, nor sufficient knowledge, skills, or experience to do so successfully. Hence, it is an informed decision to apply to a third-party vendor who will be able to create suitable software, tailor, and test it on your IoT device to provide you with a ready-to-use application.
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IoT DevicesThe Internet of Things revolutionizes the interaction between products, customers, and devices. When you implement the IoT business applications, you can get data from multiple devices and monitor any aspect of your manufacturing operations or service providing (of course, taking privacy into consideration). From this perspective, one of the best features of IoT is a wide variety of devices and industries where they can be implemented with the help of an Internet of Things development company. Here are some examples:
- shipping trackers to monitor your inventory in the transit;
- RFID tags to track when and what of your inventory is sold;
- smart thermostat, light, and HVAC sensors to optimize the usage of resources and to manage environment in different premises;
- heat and humidity sensors to track these essential indicators on the plants or greenhouses;
- connected cameras to ensure the security of workspaces or warehouses;
- mobile card readers and mobile POS solutions for retail businesses;
- medical devices to monitor remotely the physical state of patients;
- Internet-connected trackers on the company’s fleet to track vehicles and plan routes;
- and many others.
Examples of IoT Usage in Different Business FieldsIoT can help any business niche, as every company is looking to reduce costs, improve productivity and increase the quality of products or services. We gathered some IoT ideas and examples that are used in different fields.
IoT in ManufacturingThis is one of the most promising areas for IoT integration. Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is widely used in smart factories, connecting machinery, robots, and humans who work alongside. The companies usually automate dozens of tasks, especially those that are related to monitoring and repetitive operations. Here is an example of the IIoT value: recently, Caterpillar Marine has saved $5 million by using Big Data and adopting a simple IoT sensor system. The company has combined IoT with predictive analytics software, which identifies the optimum time for machinery maintenance. While this example may seem applicable only to large companies, there are cheaper ways to save on production and maintenance by integrating IoT technologies. IIoT solutions for manufacturing enterprises may bring you these benefits:
- equipment sensors can reduce their wear and tear by 30%;
- IoT-powered drones can move heavy inventory without human involvement;
- trackers can trace the inventory transportations and levels.
IoT in HealthcareIn the healthcare industry, IoT brings many development opportunities. Connected devices automatically and remotely gather data about the patient state and efficiently monitor hospital staff and equipment. The Internet of medical things is predicted to grow and reach $254.2 billion by 2026. It’s possible since connected devices bring the following benefits to healthcare:
- cost reduction on in-clinic visits and hospital stays;
- better accuracy in health monitoring, and, hence, faster diagnostics;
- better equipment management.
IoT in RetailAlthough retail isn’t the most prominent field to apply IoT business application, it has also found its way and showed decent results. Brick-and-mortar stores use IoT to monitor their assets inside the shops and go through suppliers. Food retailers applied smart sensors to monitor the food storage temperature. Whenever it becomes abnormal, the system gives an alert. With this simple flow and IoT business applications, retails easily decrease the amount of spoiled food. IoT is also used to automate in-shop purchases, removing employees from this process and increasing the speed of purchase transactions. Here are some of the most compelling examples. As an example, let’s talk about Amazon’s automated supermarket, Amazon Go. It has Just Walk Out technology that processes payments automatically without cashier assistance. The technology behind the system is quite simple. The client downloads the mobile app and enters the store, previously authorized. When finished shopping, the client’s credit card is charged automatically upon exiting the store. Such technology can be used in 24/7 stores to cut night-shift hours. Another approach is suggested by Panasonic. The company has created a smart cart. It is able to count the number of products selected by the buyer and calculate the total purchase cost. Besides, the cart will pack all the purchased goods themselves. The buyer will only have to pay.
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IoT in Facility MaintenanceSmart Home systems are widely known, but the same approach can be used to simplify the maintenance of your office or other facilities. It can help with:
- remote light control;
- access to security cameras;
- thermostat control;
- office appliances control.
IoT in AgricultureIoT brings automation to agriculture as well. Of course, the main reason why you should apply IoT to your agriculture business is higher revenue. Other benefits are better decision-making access to the constant flow of data from the farm and greenhouses, increased production and quality. IoT application may be used to:
- track the movements and health condition of the cattle;
- embrace precise farming, when the data received from the sensor on the field, analyze the state of the soil and plants and determined the amount of water and fertilizer to be used;
- greenhouse automation.
IoT in LogisticsThe main challenges here are related to warehouse and inventory management and manual data exchange between different parts of the supply chain. IoT, on the other hand, gives simple solutions for these issues. Attaching simple sensors to goods and inventory simplifies tracking and counting, as the data from the IoT sensor will be sent to the cloud automatically and become available instantly. It also can prevent losses, for example, from robberies. Data accumulation from every process in the supply chain (order processing, delivery, financing, etc.) gives a basis for further forecasting. As IoT can provide accurate data on everything, the insight on the actual needs and capabilities of logistics becomes more realistic; thus, the management can adjust decisions and receive the best results possible.
IoT in HoReCaHotels and private sports clubs are already using smart bracelets to navigate guests across the location. Hotels can implement IoT sensors to predict visitor routes and prepare beverages in advance thus securing a better level of service. On the other hand, smart food storage in a restaurant may analyze product inventory and, once it’s running low on supplies, can make replenishment orders without human involvement. IoT for restaurants provides:
- automatic product ordering;
- expiration date tracking;
- replenishment of cleaners;
- optimization of expenses.
GBKSOFT — Your IoT App Development CompanySince 2011, we have been helping businesses grow and enhance their performance through the means of software development. We have successfully delivered dozens of IoT projects, with the most vivid cases being:
- Aquiline Drones — an Uber-like application for drone owners and people who want to rent a drone for a few hours; the app allows users to book a drone, communicate with its owner about what it is supposed to do.
- CTRL Golf — Android application for golf enthusiasts; the app is connected to the sensors on a special golf sleeve and analyses players’ moves and techniques to provide later recommendations on how to improve their playing skills.
- expansive Discovery Stage with detailed research, proof of concept preparation, project vision, and wireframes creation;
- the full cycle of software development;
- integration with final versions of IoT devices, their synchronization with software;
- testing the integration of IoT devices and software on real devices done by our development team;
- compliance with IoT security measures and procedures.
|Android Developer (if needed)||Full-time|
|IOS Developer (if needed)||Full-time|
|Front-end Developer (if needed)||Full-time|
|Auto QA engineer||Full-time|
|Average cost per month||40-50k USD|
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