The Internet of Things is becoming a popular topic of conversation, both within the workplace and outside it. But what, exactly, is the Internet of Things? And what impact is it going to have on you and your business?
Simply put, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is the concept of connecting any device with the Internet—and it’s essentially everything you can imagine. The IoT isn’t comprised of just the wearables and fitness trackers that are becoming ubiquitous, but also coffee makers, washing machines, headphones and even the engine of your car can be connected. Each of these “things” is embedded with software, sensors and network connectivity that allows them to collect and exchange data. (You may have even heard about the Amazon Alexa Developer Event we recently led.)
Anything that can be connected will be connected: to you, to the Internet and to each other. Imagine that you’re on the way to a meeting across town, but your car already has access to your calendar and knows which way to take you to avoid traffic. If there happens to be a wreck on your way, your car may be able to send a message to your boss with proof that there’s an accident and you didn’t just get out of bed late. And to avoid that scenario, what if your alarm going off triggered your coffee maker to start brewing? And your coffee maker told your toaster to start making you your morning waffle? It’s all possible, and the Internet of Things is taking place in nearly every industry you can imagine.
All of these things sound great on the personal level, but what does IoT mean for your business? It means that things are changing, and they’re changing fast. Be prepared for this shift with our tips:
Embrace new technologies to stay competitive. Technology changes constantly, and businesses must be able to compete in the new marketplace. Leaders in the business world are those who are listening to their customers, keeping pace with the new technology and innovating to meet consumer demand. Understand where technology leaps are being made, and know that the ways that users interact with said technologies will continue to change and evolve.
Now is the time to jump into IoT development. It may be overwhelming to think about starting with IoT, but the time is now. Enterprises across the world are investing in and introducing new products and services, and this is only going to increase. Moving quickly to IoT provides an opportunity for new revenue growth, cost reduction and even substantial increases in customer satisfaction.
Think smart, not hard. When it comes to new technology, it’s easy to get swept up in the beauty of it all. Don’t get caught up in developing an over-thought application when the point is to develop an IoT plan that is practical, useful and affordable. It costs money (sometimes a lot of money) for sensors and software and storing data, so it’s important to figure out how to justify those expenses by adding real value that will make people want to buy your product or service.
Ready to begin an Internet of Things project for your business? Big Nerd Ranch is ready to help. Email us to get started.