Expert Answers to Biz Questions
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Your Business and the Internet of Things
No matter what you do for business, your business will be affected by the Internet of Things. It is simply a matter of how much it will be affected, and how quickly you will adopt this emerging trend and adapt your business model to it.
Massive Amounts of Data
Entrepreneurs, marketing agencies, and all kinds of businesses love data, and lots of it. The reasons are numerous. It helps them build a better business model, gauge customer interest, and analyze trends. The more data, at least usable data, that a business has, the more informed their decisions are, and in theory they should be better ones as well.
This is due in large part to data automation, a process that prepares data and makes connections long before an analyst even gets the data. Doing this through machine learning and using the right kind of data structures like JSOP and Hadoop makes using big data affordable for any sized business.
This massive amount of data, now made usable in a tangible way, will change the approach every business takes to a multitude of things.
Inventory Tracking and Management
From RFID tags to even the smallest of devices that communicate with your server, you can track inventory and manage it more effectively because of the Internet of Things. While this does not take the place of a physical inventory, at least not yet, it can help you in your daily operations.
However, in the very near future, smart devices should be able to keep track of inventory automatically using smart scanners, cameras, and other data gathering devices. Think of the experimental Amazon Go, a store where you simply pick up items and walk out, and they are automatically charged to your Amazon account.
This may not be the entire future of retail, but it does showcase what is possible with the Internet of Things, Big Data, and the right access and analysis of it in real time.
One of the most exciting and disrupting uses of the Internet of Things is in the production and warehousing industry. The automation of processes has been in the works for a long time, but thanks to HMI SCADA products in the cloud, these processes can be monitored and even controlled from nearly any device with a web browser, including IOS and Android devices.
This industrial software makes processes more efficient and reduces the need for human intervention at all. It also enables them to be monitored remotely. This means all kinds of device management can be done from anywhere by nearly anyone, as long as they have knowledge of the processes.
For industrial management, this is a giant leap from the levers and sensors of old, although it does raise some security concerns, as often internet of things devices are small components of larger devices that may lack security measures, and are difficult or impossible to update.
Despite these concerns, this is still an emerging technology that will change nearly every industrial application.
In your workplace, it is likely that many of your devices are wired into the same network, and this opens up an amazing number of possibilities for remote workers, who can be more connected than ever before.
Not only can they use their own devices at home, but they can control and utilize devices in your office or factory without leaving home. As these workers tend to be happier and more productive, this can help your employee retention and your bottom line.
Speed and Efficiency
The other advantage that the Internet of Things changes is that not only do businesses have more data, but so do customers. This tends to shorten the buying cycle considerably, and also raises customer expectations for faster delivery.
Fortunately, everyone in the chain from your vendors to shippers has access to the Internet of Things as well, and their processes are faster. If there is one thing our technology does, it increases the expectation for instant gratification. Studies show that if a website takes more than four seconds to load, a user will go elsewhere.
Fortunately, it also enables you to fulfill that expectation. Primarily because it allows you and your company to do more in less time, keeping your website agile. The more usable your data is in real time, the more advantageous the Internet of Things will be to your business.
A Shifting Job Picture
The Internet of Things means a shifting job picture. While some positions will no longer be needed, data analysts, IT security professionals, and other IT professions yet to be invented will become necessary. Remote work will become more prevalent, and device management will become its own specialty.
Overall, the job picture at almost every company will look different in the very near future than it does now. From C-level management to entry level employees, job descriptions will change, morphing into dealing with big data and the Internet of Things more effectively.
Your business will change with the Internet of Things and the increase in big data. It is simply a matter of how quickly you both adopt new technology and adapt to changes. The sooner you do, the sooner you can manage your inventory more effectively, shorten your customer’s buying journey, and shift to a more agile and adaptable workforce.
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