Use of the Internet of Things has skyrocketed in recent years.
Everyday objects which communicate with one another through a web of internet connectivity are being integrated as part of our every-day life; the way we live at home, carry out our daily activities, and even the way we work.
For instance, Alexa and Google Home have reshaped home life and are widely used tools that many are incorporating into their regular routines. Devices like these have infiltrated domestic life, and consumers are not only accustomed to them, but excited about the future possibilities they offer.
With such excitement for IoT, it’s more than ready to become an integral part of business operations. Now is the perfect opportunity for small businesses to catch on early and stay ahead of the competition in terms of the tools they – and their consumers – may use.
Keeping Your SME Cyber Safe While Using IoT
While IoT may allow for great benefits that your business should wisely begin to take advantage of, first you should be aware of any extra threats that doing so may present. Being connected and bridging gaps between usable information is extremely handy, but it may make that information vulnerable to attack from outsiders. Hackers may be able to retrieve sensitive data and utilize it for ill-intention.
There are plenty of ways to protect your business from such risks, but the best way is to hire an IT service provider. Companies like Computers In The City are experts at handling all your business’ IT needs. A top priority for such providers is cyber safety, and they are well-experienced in catering to it in a business setting. To make sure your business’ and your customers’ information is as safe as possible while gaining the most you can from IoT, make sure to invest in outside help from an IT support company.
Virtual Assistants Help Save Your Staff Time
Virtual assistants like Siri can speed up even every-day admin tasks, like searching for data and checking facts. These fantastic tools can also automate things on your staff’s to-do list like ordering office supplies when needed, or scheduling meetings and appointments.
Automated Alerts Reduce Downtime
IoT sensors attached to certain equipment can catch issues ahead of time and send automatic alerts. This way, you’re always immediately informed when they arise and can maintain machinery before its dysfunctionality causes delays and production losses. You can even send technicians on their way before the breakdowns happen. Reducing downtime before it begins in this way is a powerful tool.
Track Staff Productivity
With IoT devices, you can see how much time individuals are putting in and on which projects. You can then analyse what’s taking the most time and make better use of it in the future. When you can monitor productivity as you go, you can address issues earlier and save time from the get-go. This kind of tracking is especially useful when certain staff are working remotely, so you can get a better sense of how they work throughout their process, instead of only at deadline time.
Increase Staff Effectivity
IoT can help your business save time and increase productivity on tasks that used to be time-consuming before automation. Also, when data is easier to send and receive, your employees can get it faster, more accurately, and it can be utilised more quickly, too. This means they can make smarter decisions and do so in a more efficient way.
Save Your Business Money
With the use of IoT, you can track the lights and temperature at work to waste as little energy as possible. People do this at home with the use of IoT-enabled devices, but imagine the greater savings that may be achieved in an office setting. Additionally, you can control other electricity-consuming items with IoT devices, like your machines, and set them to automatically shut off when they’re not being used. Of course, doing so is more environmentally friendly as well, and can make your equipment last longer, too.
Connect and Collect Customer Data
Retrieving data about your consumers is always a good idea, so you may better appeal to them in the future. But you can learn significantly more about them by connecting with the IoT devices they’re also connected to. This is a better source of direct information than other means, like asking for surveys and reviews. In this way, you can truly personalize your customer experience, and do so in real-time. After all, reacting to your customers’ needs and desires quickly will place you far ahead of competitors. Additionally, there are new types of services you can implement with the influence of IoT, or you can tweak the services you already have to make improvements.
Enable Your Staff to Do Their Best
There is sometimes a question of whether the introduction of increasingly more IoT devices in the workplace may begin to replace staff. However, it’s been proven there’s no real threat in this regard, and that making the best use of IoT will allow your employees to do a better job. As they become more efficient and productive, they can focus better on serving customers and catering to what they need. Rather than making them lose their jobs, using IoT in the workplace allows employees to achieve higher goals.
Protect Your Physical Office Space
One final task you can accomplish with IoT (that can have a big impact in terms of risk management) is operating smart locks on physical spaces that have access controls. Passwords can be changed remotely, you can keep track of who accesses those spaces, and you can deny access to some with just the click of a mouse.
Investing in IoT for Your Business
Internet use is increasing rapidly as time goes on; it’s becoming cheaper to connect and utilize the technology needed to do so. More devices are being created to make these connections, and consumers are becoming more accustomed to them. With such an environment, IoT is the bustling new fad that will drive us into the thick of the 21st century. The IoT market is projected to increase in growth by 21% in 2020, and for good reason. In fact, incorporating IoT opportunities into a business can generate a vast amount of returns. As with any trend which affects society, this one too shall affect businesses. Those which pay attention to the way they can make the most of IoT now will be ahead of the game.