INTERNET OF THINGS SERIES – PART 1
In our first blog entry about Internet of Things (IoT), let’s start with defining what it is. IoT is as nebulous a term as “being in the cloud.” So, let’s keep it simple. IoT is a way to connect different devices with each other – be it a Fitbit for consumers or connected machines in the production process.
At the consumer level, IoT can include connecting through cell phones, tablets, laptops, kitchen appliances, thermostats (NEST), vending machines, wearable devices (Nike and Under Armour) and more. Every time you use Uber to get home or Waze to avoid traffic – you are in the Internet of Things.
For businesses, IoT can enhance manufacturing by creating intelligent networks along the value chain, reducing operator intervention and its associated costs. Other uses can include optimizing inventories, enhancing real-time promotions, and improving fleet logistics. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The biggest implication for companies exploiting IoT isn’t through the devices (although they can be rather cool), but through the data they gather. Massive amounts of data are being created that support increased customer loyalty, improved profitability, and enhanced competitive advantage. Every Apple Pay™ payment transacted, soda bought from a vending machine, or item pulled in a “connected warehouse” offers greater potential insight for you and your company. The real winners in the Internet of Things will be those who most quickly adapt to managing, securing and monetizing the information they are gaining about their customers or operations.
The question you should be asking yourself is: How can you use IoT (and the data gained from it) to create insight, competitive advantage and monetized returns?
Interested in more North Highland perspective on the Internet of Things? Check out our first in a series of Internet of Things Perspectives.