The Internet of Things (IoT) is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of services and software solutions. What all these features have in common is that they are all interconnected. For instance, when you connect your smartphone and your smart TV to the same Wi-Fi network, you can cast media files from the phone to the TV-set. Here we have two things that are mutually connected via the same network.
The more things (devices and software tools) you mutually link via the Internet connection, the more options you can use to make your business work more efficiently. Now, let’s have a look at the most useful IoT-options for new businesses.
1) Using tags and sensors
In the times when the eCommerce market is experiencing rapid expansion, entrepreneurs in this field should embrace business-boosting solutions.
IoT-sensors and tags can be used in warehouses and data centers, in business offices and in vehicles to optimize the usage of resources. These sensors are based on radio frequency identification. As sensors and tags communicate with one another and other devices via a wireless connection, they send different notifications.
That way, sensors can notify you in advance of potential equipment breakdowns and other risks.
Similarly, you can place tags on various products in your warehouse of devices in your office. Some business owners even opt for smart tags that their employees wear, but this is still a new idea, applied only in a smaller number of companies.
2) Tracking workers’ performances
Optimizing workers’ performances and increasing workers’ productivity is a dream-come-true scenario for every business owner. The Internet of Things will take as close to this goal as it gets.
You can start with company ID cards that your workers will have to use to enter the company building. It will give you an insight into the amount of time that they spend at work.
Using time-tracking apps would be an equivalent for companies with remote workers.
What’s more, you can track the workflow of every employee and every work task they do. The time-tracking solutions above and project management tools have work logs. In case you want to determine how much your workers have done within a certain period, you can use those data.
3) Cutting on overhead expenses
The inter-connectivity of various devices opens room for more advanced automated communication between them. These innovations can result in lower overhead expenses.
For instance, you can go for a smart IoT office or implement at least some of smart features in it. Installing smart LED light bulbs can be both visually attractive and financially justified. They can be managed and adjusted remotely, just like smart HVAC-solutions. If you can switch off and on your office heating or cooling equipment via a mobile app, you will keep more assets in your pocket.
Likewise, instead of buying internal or external hard drives, you can store your business data on the cloud, thanks to the Internet of Things. Plus, your employees won’t have to send those documents to one another, but they’ll be able to create, edit, and share business tasks online. In this sense, using IoT-options is a win-win situation: you’ll reduce your business costs and boost efficiency.
4) Improving customer support
There’s a simple formula that every new business owner aiming at online audiences should bear in mind: the number of Internet users is increasing, meaning that their demands become more diverse.
Translated to everyday business operations: business owners need to ensure seamless and responsive customer support.
The good thing is that the Internet of Things offers various options to enhance and advance communication and collaboration with clients.
For starters, think about using chatbots. These artificial customer support agents can sort out some basic issues that your customers might experience. They can either be added to a separate customer support section on your website or they can appear in the form of pop-up windows.
As for the latter, make sure that they’re properly incorporated into the overall design and functionality of your business website. As explained by the pros from a Houston web design company, adding new elements to a company website should be followed by proper testing. So, communicate with your web design consultants all these details to ensure friction-less operability of your website.
5) Raising the security level
If you install a smart lock that can be controlled via a mobile app, you’ll add another security level to your office. And if you’re still suspicious about these new solutions, you can leave the traditional lock in the door and ensure two-tier security.
On the other hand, using the IoT-technology in the office raises some security concerns, as well. For instance, if a hacker attacks your office network, all the connected devices will be compromised. One way to avoid this outcome is to dedicate a separate gateway for IoT-devices on your office router. This means that the office devices will be using a separate pathway for data exchange, i.e. not the one used for regular access to the Internet. So, highlight these demands when negotiating your IoT and Internet options.
Last, but not least, inform your workers about the potential risks and teach them how to use and change passwords on IoT-devices. Also, train them on how to use those devices in a secure manner.
The Internet of Things is a relatively new concept, but it is already used for a wide range of purposes. Business owners who understand the potential of IoT-solutions are more likely to improve their present operability and prepare for future challenges. Relying on IoT-devices, tools, and data means will improve the collaboration between your teams, as well. And if arranged and installed properly, IoT-solutions will increase the security features in your company. All these features will help you run a responsive and competitive modern business.
Liam Collins is a tech pundit and Web enthusiast working at TuiSpace.com. He spends most of his time reading and writing about the current affairs in the world of information technology. When he isn’t working, he likes going for long bike rides and walks in nature.