The widespread adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) by companies has already had an intense impact on the way organizations conduct business. Digital era with IoT is offering greater capabilities and transforming all major industrial businesses – from enterprises operating in retail, healthcare, and logistics to manufacturing.
As a key driver of digital transformation, IoT coupled with enterprise mobility solutions are bringing in huge reforms in companies to slash downtime, improve safety, increase productivity, improve quality, enhance customer experience, make operations more profitable, and at times, they have disrupted business models as well.
IoT contribution to evolution in data collection and insights
Throughout history, data has been a critical resource for companies, providing valuable insights to drive transformative and beneficial innovations. Over a period of time, these methods of data collection have improved, allowing more complex and higher quality data to be captured in larger quantities.
IoT in enterprises is another evolution in data collection and presents unique opportunities for businesses. As organizations start to adopt IoT in their business models, they start to gain advantages in operational efficiency, customer engagement and cost savings. It’s clear that digital transformation is highly beneficial and unavoidable if businesses want to remain competitive in the market.
IoT makes organizations digitally strong
There are multiple ways one can fuel their business growth utilizing IoT solutions. Below are some of the benefits:
- Reduce operational cost & boost efficiency – With the combination of rich data insights and automated sensors, IoT can reduce the costs and gives an opportunity for businesses to improve operations in multiple areas like security, energy, human resource, and asset management. There are dozens of notable processes that can be streamlined and is highly scalable across several industries.
- Opens up new business opportunities – The massive data generated by IoT devices can help businesses gain insights and understand the customer needs more accurately. Previously unseen insights can be turned into their new offerings and become a way to create value for their customers.
- Better customer service and agility – The data generated through the IoT devices can give a comprehensive understanding of customers using which businesses will be able to market and position their products in the relevant market. On the service side, access to these real-time data will assist businesses to streamline their workflows and be responsive to current market demands with greater speed.
Importance of IoT Advisory & Consulting in the digital era
The race to be first and the pressure to stay relevant in the market can make C-suites end up making a bad decision. So, business leaders should learn how to use IoT, acquire knowledge and subsequently develop strategies on how to incorporate/leverage IoT technology in their IT infrastructure. Only trusted consulting and technology services firms can help decision makers grapple with such a complex set of business integration, technology, and data management implementation challenges.
What are the key technology components organizations need to consider?
IoT Devices/ Hardware -Hardware like sensors, edge computing devices, etc, are at the heart of any IoT implementation. Choosing and deploying the IoT hardware & applying edge computing models can be a complicated task, but uniquely well suited to IoT applications because of several key benefits such as near real-time analysis of data, lower operational and data management cost, optimal data transfer back to the cloud and operational continuity.
Network – IoT implementations require the transmission of signals over networking devices in different network topologies and communication with the IoT gateways. To bring your organization’s current networking standard at par with the IoT implementation standards, there is a need for upgradation to your networking devices such as routers, LAN, MAN, WAN, etc, and connecting technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE/5G, etc.
Cloud Services – Once the network is in place, the next step will be to handle, process and store humungous amount of data collected by IoT hardware. Managing, sifting through, and analyzing so much data will be a massive challenge for organizations in the legacy storage systems. Hence, using the cloud is important for aggregating data and drawing insights from that data. This has proven to be a great way to get the best value for the gathered data. Further, it makes it easy to integrate with other sources such as external databases or third-party APIs.
Security – Security is often overlooked when organizations deploy newer IT technologies. Modern cybercriminals are utilizing newer and complex attack techniques to attack the hyper-connected networks and get their hands-on customers/corporate data. The challenges will increase when networks become more dynamic with cloud, virtualization, 5G, and IoT. Therefore, it is important for organizations to follow best security practices, and install a robust security solution that can protect IT, IoT and Operational Technology (OT) devices.
To thrive with these technological changes, the organizations need to be digitally ready and must have a trusted tech partner who can help optimize ROI from complex technology investments. Companies should work closely with its customers to release the value from existing and new data by utilizing newer technologies, including IoT.
(Disclaimer: The author is Chief Executive Officer at Crayon Software Experts, a company that works in the area of software asset management and consulting. The views expressed here are his own)