Enterprise IoT can help businesses be more connected, reduce manual work, scale business processes, reduce operating costs, and become more efficient. You’ve likely heard of IoT, but you may not know what this acronym stands for. IoT stands for the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things consists of all devices and physical things that can be connected to the Internet. For example, the smart home device that allows you to see and adjust the temperature of your home from an app on your phone is part of the Internet of Things.
Enterprise Internet of Things can also be used to deliver a better Customer Experience (CX) and get more detailed and comprehensive data sets to analyze. There are many ways that enterprise IoT can be implemented to make daily work processes and employees more productive and efficient. The possibilities the IoT offers businesses are nearly limitless.
It can be overwhelming to imagine all of the potential possibilities of the IoT for your enterprise. There are likely several different IoT solutions that could benefit your business immediately. I will go through some cool ways you can apply the Internet of Things to your business. Some of these examples may not apply directly to your business operations, but they will give you concrete examples of how the IoT can be used effectively.
How Can the Internet of Things Benefit my Business?
This is the big question that many people have when they are considering adopting smart technology to aid in their business processes. The answer to the question depends largely on the type of business you operate, the customer needs you are trying to meet, and what type of office, warehouse, storefront, or other types of facilities you operate. Regardless of the demands and needs of your business, the Internet of Things can benefit your operation.
Inventory is an important part of many different types of businesses. Whether you are a retailer or a warehouse shipping products around the world, you need to have a firm grasp on your inventory levels. Smart IoT sensors can help you track your inventory across multiple locations. This sensor data gives you the ability to make informed decisions based on real-time inventory information that can be easily transformed into useful data visualizations. You can even set parameters and preferences on your connected devices so that when your inventory gets low, you automatically place an order for more.
The Internet of Things can help you take the guesswork out of inventory management. You won’t over or under order ever again when you can access accurate, real-time inventory information. Inventory management technology can be utilized by a myriad of organizations, not just large corporations. Retailers can quickly check to see if they are carrying additional inventory in their warehouse without having to “go in the back and check.” Restaurants can accurately order additional food supplies without losing product to waste.
If you have a smart fridge in your break room or home, you can use IoT tech to inform you when you are running low on sparkling water or other beverages and snacks for your office. You can even have your smart fridge automatically order more so you never run out or have to take time out of your day to order more snacks for the office.
Many businesses employ vehicles and other pieces of large machinery that are essential to business operations. Whether you have one vehicle, a fleet of vehicles, or heavy machinery, enterprise IoT technology can help you manage your assets in a manner that guarantees they function at their most optimal and efficient levels.
IoT technology gives enterprises the ability to track how their machines or vehicles are being used. You’ll be able to see what times of the day are the busiest, which tasks are most efficient, least efficient, most energy-consuming, etc. This data gives businesses the ability to optimize their processes to ensure that they are being as efficient as possible.
What is cool about IoT technology is that it can even alert you when it is time for maintenance or repair. In the case of a vehicle or piece of equipment, early maintenance and repairs can save you time and a lot of money. This technology can also be applied in real-time to track a driver’s location or see how your manufacturing equipment is performing at the moment.
The sensor data provided in these applications can be crucial to finding and addressing key bottlenecks that sap efficiency. Real-time data is an important tool that can be used to address issues and concerns while they are happening instead of having to wait for reporting at the end of the day, week, month, or quarter. Equipment optimization insight is one of the most powerful tools IoT technology offers businesses.
Energy consumption is a major expense that businesses accrue every month. You need to keep the lights on and your office air-conditioned. However, you can use your energy more efficiently, and ultimately, save money on energy bills by not wasting the resource when you don’t need it.
Enterprise IoT technology allows you to monitor how your buildings are being used. The data provided by smart sensor IoT technology in your buildings will allow you to see which parts of your facilities are being used the most and when they are being used. The incredible amount of data you will get on your facilities will allow you to fine-tune your HVAC systems, lights, and other utilities to ensure that you are efficiently using your energy and not wasting money on energy that is not being used. Why should you keep the A/C on in a part of the building that is not being used? IoT technology can help you make significant savings in your energy costs.
Security is a major concern for a lot of enterprises. Enterprise IoT security technology can help make sites more secure. Technology will not be able to replace a human security guard, but IoT technology can help make their jobs easier. Security cameras are no new invention, but smart IoT cameras with AI integration are an advancement that can help determine the difference between humans and animals and even learn to recognize people who belong on-site versus strangers.
These advancements should give security professionals more time to investigate instances that are actually concerning by presenting them with fewer false alarms. IoT cameras can also help businesses spot trouble areas that could lead to business disruptions like employee injury or employee theft.
Making your workforce more efficient and safe while out on the job is a task that IoT technology can help with. Industrial IoT wearable solutions help field managers ensure worker safety, reduce the risk of employee errors, and improve worker productivity. The main risk industrial workers face daily is injury through workplace accidents. Industrial IoT technology can help cut down the number of worker accidents and keep workers safe on the job through connected machine and employee wearable IoT devices.
Connected IoT devices can also help businesses ensure regulatory compliance and track employee activities. Several key industries can reap the benefits of this tech:
- Oil and gas
- Fire and safety
- Energy and utilities
Consider the following use cases. Smart IoT technology helps monitor long-haul truck drivers to ensure that they comply with daily driving limits. This technology also monitors their health to ensure that they are alert and healthy. If long-haul truck drivers are too tired and get in an accident, not only will they likely hurt themselves and others, but they will also delay or damage the shipment of whatever they are carrying. In both cases, this hurts the business. Most importantly, it helps keep them safe.
The Internet of things has many practical applications for businesses. I have gone over a few of the most common ways this technology can be used to make businesses more efficient. However, this article is by no means exhaustive. I barely scratched the surface of how IoT solutions can be used to capture large amounts of real-world data. As time passes, technology will only continue to improve. The capabilities that IoT technology offers today will pale in comparison to the capabilities of the future.