A lot of people and businesses still think that the Internet of Things (IoT) belong to the realm of science fiction instead of the business world. And that is very unfortunate because the Internet of Things is going to change how people do businesses, and this will happen soon. This is very similar to when big data, social networking, the cloud and mobility all changed the enterprise world.
The Internet of Things is poised to be the next big thing and it is time to get ready for it. So what are the seven things that you should keep in mind in getting ready for the IoT?
- Always look at things on a long-term perspective.
The Internet of Things is a new technology and the applications involving IoT nowadays are overly simple. You might think that you do not really need IoT, not now and not in the future. But you must understand that more useful applications involving IoT will soon be available as more and more devices become connected to the Internet. That means more data and analytics features will be available for businesses. On the same vein, more and more enterprises would come to realize just how useful IoT really is especially in the areas of lead generation, business development, and operational efficiency.
In short, if you are thinking about adopting IoT for the business, then you should be in it for the long term and you have to understand that it is going to change your business to the core.
- Change the way you handle data.
Today, IT systems crunch high value data that is meaningful for their businesses. With the Internet of Things, however, you should be prepared to deal with a high volume of low-value data that could come in at a very fast rate. It is very easy to stumble here and you need to make sure that you can gather all the data that comes in, store it and then retrieve the data coming from all your connected devices and be able to interpret and analyze it. The thing is, the high volume of data that you can gather is not the only problem here but also the reality that this data will be coming from a whole lot of different devices using different operating systems, standards and protocols.
What is imperative is that you have new technologies that would enable you to deal with all of these data. And that might not be the same as the way you are currently handling it.
- Embrace “smart.”
All that data you can have access to will all be worth nothing if you cannot improve the devices that give you all these data in the first place. The good news is that Moore’s Law is on your side: More and more devices will be involved with the Internet of Things because the cost for making these devices are going down, and as it go down, the capabilities of these devices would be greater.
For instance, a smart car would be able to gather data about the road, traffic situation, and yes, even the weather. So what do you do with that data? Improve the car, of course. You can take the data, analyze it and change the behavior of the car. In this instance, the car should be able to take several weather conditions and be able to alert the driver about traffic situations, and maybe automatically adjust for safely driving through flooded or icy roads.
What’s more, if you have several intelligent devices, the frequency of transmission between the end device and data center would be a lot less. Continuing with the car example, instead of the car’s system checking what it should do when the roads get iced over, it will “know” what to do and respond appropriately even without contacting the data center.
- Integrate IoT to your current systems.
It is no secret that businesses now have IT systems in place. They could be using — and have invested heavily on — marketing systems, CRM, supply chain, ERP, and other business applications. And the good thing about IoT is that you can integrate it to improve your current systems. You now have more data that these systems could use, effectively helping you remove the blind spots in your business. For one, a connected motion detector can help you improve your applications that deal with enterprise processes.
- Think big, but start small.
The endless potential and promising future of the Internet of Things makes it easy for you to think big. But like every IT project, you should start small when you implement it and then try to tie it to an achievable ROI. For instance, San Francisco is currently using smart parking meters. The city came up with an app that informs users of available parking spaces.
The city then improved this app to include differential pricing for parking spots, rather than just displaying which parking spaces are empty. Parking spaces near popular areas are priced more. For instance, if there is a baseball game at the AT&T Park, the parking prices are readjusted by the IoT service. The city now has an income stream from their Internet of Things initiative.
But this does not mean that you have to wait to get IoT integrated to your current systems. As we have pointed out, getting IoT integrated to your current systems could only benefit you and help improve your IT systems.
- IoT works with current technologies.
The Internet of Things is undoubtedly shaping up to be a major technology. But fear not because this does not entail that it will be replacing current technologies, such as big data and the cloud.
IoT can work harmoniously with big data and the cloud. For instance, you can use your big data analytics to help you make sense of the volume of data you get from IoT. Meanwhile, you can use the cloud to store and process IoT outputs. The scalability and flexibility of cloud platforms and services would be very helpful as you go from a few dozen devices to thousands!
- Get into IoT now!
Don’t wait when it comes to IoT. Remember that time when you were so resistant about smartphones and mobile apps, and how much revenue and how many opportunities were lost when you were forced to play catch up? IoT adoption is picking up steam and there are now a lot of businesses that are starting to adopt IoT technology for various projects. Do not make the mistake of getting in on a good thing too late.
Learn more about how to adopt IoT for your business. Contact Four Cornerstone at (817) 377-1144 and schedule a consultation.
Photo courtesy of Marcus Brown.