With the rapid growth of wearables, and with more devices entering the online space every day, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a hot topic consuming business and tech conventions like wildfire. Though wearable gadgets like Google Glass have largely been brushed aside as superfluous devices, according to Pew Research, nearly 83% of tech experts believe that the use of embedded and wearable devices will be more widespread and will prove to be beneficial by 2025. One of the expected trends of 2015 is the expansion of Internet of Things as companies seek better ways to manage all the data those devices provide.

You may ask, “Does it really matter for my business?” The answer is: yes, it does. But, how? What is the real reason that Internet of Things exists and does your business need to consider it while planning for growth and tech for the future? Absolutely. There should be some planning around it, but the direct impact is going to have more to do with evolution than it does with the mere idea of IoT. Let’s see how IoT may positively influence your business.

IOT And Your Business

Business intelligence will improve. Managing Big Data and extracting meaningful information out of it has been one of the biggest challenges for businesses. IoT could make it easier for you to collect more relevant information from the depths of the Internet. With IoT in action, you’ll have data rushing in from all corners – homes, offices, hospitals, shopping centers, gas stations, and every other imaginable space. All of that sensor data will present a terrific opportunity for businesses. Business will be able to track the analytics they would need to improve their business strategy, and customer experience. They could get real-time feedback, monitor customer behavior, review product performance, track loyalty, etc. But, the sooner businesses get started with a data-driven infrastructure, the better they’ll be at capturing data that makes sense for them. Incidentally, a few months ago, I came across this amazing infographic that shows what the future of data collection will look like with IoT playing its part.

There will be more opportunities to create better customer experiences. With intelligent devices being able to “talk” to each other, we are gradually moving towards an era of hyper-connectedness – an era where customers will be even more empowered, connected, and well-informed than they are already. Today’s consumers have pretty high expectations from businesses in terms of response and reaction times. As such, the most obvious benefits of IoT with regard to customer experience would be the elimination of long wait times, faster troubleshooting, and immediate access to customer data, to name a few. Your business’ customer engagement is rooted in your understanding of their needs. Your understanding will be enhanced by IoT.

New revenue streams will be created. As IoT brings changes to the business landscape, there will be a growing demand for new products and services that are compatible with the changes. Businesses will have new opportunities to develop these products and services, thus creating revenue streams that were previously non-existent. No doubt, many businesses will emerge and many others will diversify as a result.

Productivity will receive a boost. We are a tech-driven culture. The idea of being monitored by smart technology in exchange for free products, services, or some kind of value addition is no longer a foreign concept. Not to mention, as humans, we inherently seek rewards. That desire fuels the concept of gamification, which is essentially the application of game elements in real life situations. Using gamification strategies in business can be a great way to improve employee engagement. Engaged employees are more productive and efficient. IoT will also enhance collaboration. (This statement can be verified by the Evolving Workforce survey findings.)

With IoT there is a new pool of information and data, as everything we do is connected and measurable. While this new force can be directed in many positive ways, Businesses that want to reap substantial benefits should ideally start planning now for a super-connected workplace powered by the IoT.

Have you noticed the Internet of Things beginning to impact your business? In what ways do you think it will continue to grow? We would love to hear from you.

[Photo Credit: Creative Commons]

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