The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been around for some time now, but it is one of those ideas that has had to wait for tech to catch up. Now, it finally seems to be time for IoT to go mainstream, with various applications already on the market and many more in the pipeline. So what should small companies be thinking about, and how is it likely to affect SMBs?
It is estimated that by 2021 there will be more than 7.5 billion devices (things) in the world that are internet-enabled, and increasingly, each of these is looking to ‘talk’ to each other. This ever-growing network poses challenges for connectivity infrastructure, but it also comes with great opportunities for businesses across the spectrum.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are often at the forefront of new tech, as larger organisations can find it difficult to adopt new systems, processes, and tech because their roll-out can be more complicated. As it is still early days for the IoT, it means that forward-looking SMB owners are well placed to work out how it could help them and put that into practice. In doing so, they can stay one step ahead of the competition.
Some of the benefits of using IoT methods include remote access, real-time tracking, and more automation. One of the biggest advantages for SMBs is that much of the new tech is low cost, meaning that developers are likely to find new ways of doing things that haven’t even been thought of yet.
Real-time data provided by devices connected to the IoT would mean greater control over inventory and financial transactions, but also have implications for the work-flow of many businesses. Integration of production, packaging, and delivery systems could be achieved by automated use of IoT connected devices, meaning that everywhere from warehouses, production floors, offices, and even the home, will be affected by the coming changes.
One of the most costly resources for SMBs can be staffing and personnel, so automation of various processes that can free up employees for more important tasks is something that many will welcome. Allowing more remote access means that working from home will become more common, saving on transport costs and offering extra people a better life/work balance.
Cloud-based platforms have already changed the way businesses do things, but a future IoT will make the current working landscape unrecognisable and increase both efficiency and productivity.
As the penetration of IoT devices increases, so do the risks of more opportunities for hackers to gain access. This means that as well as the advantages, you also need to be aware of the dangers of cyber-attacks. Having a future-proof security policy isn’t difficult to achieve. At GCC, we take a proactive approach to customer support that includes giving you all the help and advice you need. Get in touch today to find out more.