In all the hype about Blockchain, perhaps the most important emerging technology has taken a backseat, as far as hype goes. It is still working hard at achieving its goal of churning out data that can be trusted.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology that will shape the future. It has already found its way into our homes, and we do not even know about it. It has significantly impacted the way we live and work. It is generating a significant amount of data, and this output will grow manifolds. IoT delivers unadulterated data to improve life experiences.
The problem with this technology is what I outlined in the beginning - lack of hype. While the technology is widespread - right from our smart TVs to our Smart Cars, it is never seen or heard about. A study conducted recently showed that most small business owners are unaware of this technology. Come 2020, we will have more than 50 billion devices using IoT technology, one way or the other. Enterprises need to increasingly use IoT, to stay ahead of their competitors, and quickly.
There are significant benefits of IoT, however, let us talk about the ones for small businesses:
Access to Data
The world runs on data. If anything, this dependence will grow. You have heard of the old adage Knowledge is Power. Let us replace the word knowledge with Data - Data is Power. This is the same power that Congress is objecting to in the case of Facebook.
Access to data is power, and IoT provides you with data, empowers you. In most instances, this data has no human intervention - making it irrefutable.
Let me give a real-life example, to begin with. When you watch Netflix or Hulu, your watch history, along with millions of other users, become a data source. This gives Netflix or Hulu the necessary information to commission its next series. Now, imagine a small business generating such data for its customers and changing the way they present their products. This is being done manually and inefficiently right now. IoT can make the data accurate, do most of the analysis, and help you develop solutions that improve user-experiences.
Automation of processes can enhance operational efficiency. IoT can assist small businesses to manage their inventory process. By excluding the tiresome and inaccurate manual task of inventory tracking, IoT helps small enterprises improve their warehousing and logistics efficiency.
Water, electricity, air conditioning, and many such required resources for business have significant costs. IoT can provide you with a vital insight into how to optimize your resources, and even manage it for you. Right from switching off lights to regulating Air Conditioner use.
I have written about a few basic application of IoT. This is where companies can start. Once they are on the IoT highway, they can decide which fork to take and how much to accelerate and go how far. IoT is exciting, and it will usher in a world that we have only seen in science fiction movies as yet.