What IoT means for your small business
IoT stands for “Internet of Things,” and is a term that is used to describe the myriad of physical objects that enjoy the benefits of web connectivity. It also refers to the way in which these objects interact and function online.
When we think about devices that connect to the internet, we usually imagine PCs, tablets, and smartphones. However, these days everything from kettles and refrigerators, to thermostats and intercoms can be internet-enabled with increased functionality to improve the consumer experience.
Many IoT devices enjoy cloud-hosted PBX connectivity, which allows them to communicate over the internet. Security systems issue alerts when tripped, and vending machines flag up the need to restock to their operators.
With so many IoT applications out there, businesses of any size are likely to be able to leverage IoT growth to improve their operations and services. This helps to automate in-house functions and improve the user experience to inform future development processes.
The growth of IoT in business
Some larger companies realized the benefits of IoT applications as the technology emerged, and it is now incorporated seamlessly into a number of industries. Major healthcare providers, for example, use IoT to remotely adjust equipment settings for improved performance. Monitoring data is used to dispatch engineers to correct issues often before these have become apparent to the end user.
Mechanical industries have applied IoT principles to their manufacturing to add sensors and support systems. These serve the dual functions of allowing them to monitor and improve the consumer experience in real time, while also feeding in actual usage data that can be incorporated into future developments. This all helps to fuel an increase in demand for SIP trunking.
As IoT applications within business grow, smaller businesses may find themselves playing catch-up. They must ensure that their clients can enjoy the same benefits as those who choose products and services from larger companies.
How businesses are using IoT
While larger businesses are already placing IoT provision into the design stages of their product and service packages in-house, smaller businesses may feel they do not have the in-house IT provision or expertise to get onboard with the IoT revolution. However, there are several packages on the market that have been created to ensure that companies of any size can gain access to IoT tools and benefit from the data solutions that they offer.
Businesses who are unsure of how IoT could fit into their business plan can seek advice from specialist IoT consultants. They will be able to help them identify areas where the technologies could be implemented to augment the performance of their products, or expedite the provision of services to clients.
There are also opportunities out there for smaller companies to benefit from the existing IoT of larger businesses. For example, bidding for specialist contracts in areas such as stock and maintenance would see a company’s IoT data being fed directly to them, carrying out essential tasks without the need for a human contact within the client firm to issue worksheets and instructions.
One example of the above business model involved a mouse trap manufacturer whose devices used IoT tech to inform when a rodent had been caught. This data was forwarded to third-party small businesses working in the pest control field who worked under contract to remove the activated traps. This process added value to the initial product, and opened up business opportunities to existing concerns through IoT connectivity.
How IoT will change the way people do business
As telecommunications giants such as AT&T develop platforms that are designed to expedite the integration of IoT into smaller business practices, so the technology will begin to make more of an impact outside the world of big business. With users becoming more comfortable with IoT applications, it is likely that these applications will begin to replace a lot of traditional software solutions to provide a seamless and instinctive interaction between tech, the web, and business owners who are able to take actions as data indicates.
Options such as VoIP are likely to become more prominent as connectivity through IoT increases, as will those technologies that leverage mobile application development for integration into more complex platforms. Cloud technology will provide the necessary data storage backup.
What IoT will mean for security
For a generation that has been raised on futuristic sci-fi tales of robots gone awry, it is no surprise that the integration of IoT-based applications in so many areas raises security questions. However, the industry is already intensely focused on ensuring that the data collected and streamed by these devices is always kept safe and secure.
As more and more businesses adopt IoT applications into their everyday operations, so the demand for security will also increase, helping to ensure that safety solutions are constantly in development. With industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, sensor enablement, and data analytics already climbing enthusiastically aboard the IoT train, more investment is being made in the security sector of the industry, with firewalls and passwords being constantly reviewed and improved to help keep consumer and corporate information safe.
What IoT will mean for business networks and connections
As more people bring IoT tech into their lives and homes, VoIP search and conversational search changes the way things are found online. An increasing number of industries are adopting IoT applications in their products and processes, resulting in a seismic shift in how demand is communicated and responded to.
For smaller businesses, the key now will be working out to how to leverage these technologies to their advantage. Business owners will need to decide if their model will be one that incorporates or responds to the demands of IoT technology. They will likely have to situate themselves in that market as soon as possible to reap the benefits of future developments.