The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a web of devices and systems that are interconnected through the Internet. But the concept means much more than that. Data, which is considered by many to be the “new oil”, is at the heart of the IoT movement, creating valuable benefits for modern businesses of every size.
From heat and moisture sensors that keep our food supply safe, to IoT devices that transmit pacemaker readings to doctors, and real time data analytics for making spot on business decisions, the Internet of Things takes business to another level.
But some companies are falling behind. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using IoT for business, and examine why some enterprises are reluctant to integrate IoT. Then, we will talk about a solution that will level the playing field.
The Pros of Using IoT for Business
Real time data analytics — Using IoT devices allows companies to see in real time actionable insights into their business. As a result, they are able to achieve better customer outcomes with the responsiveness afforded by using IoT data. A fitness web app that connects to a smart watch, for instance, can track its users steps and calories in real time to better determine a user’s future needs to deliver a better customer experience.
Automating repetitive tasks — An vehicle assembly line is now highly automated with precision tools that can quickly sense when a part is faulty, and thus dangerous. This data is transmitted immediately so managers can stop the line to make adjustments before more costly or dangerous errors occur.
Heightening efficiency — A trucking company can utilize IoT devices to track the working condition of trucks, traffic conditions, driver locations, weather conditions and shipment arrival times in real time. All of this helps managers avoid problems before they happen while delivering a higher level of service to their customer base.
Better insight into customer behavior — At a supermarket, a smart cash register immediately emits coupons that reflect what a customer just purchased, using that data to help predict their next needs and wants. Having real time data helps them improve the customer experience.
Higher level of workplace safety — Boiler rooms on cargo ships are safer work environments thanks to IoT sensors that transmit and monitor temperature and pressure readings to help see a problem before it happens.
Keeps enterprises competitive — Using IoT accelerates the use of real time data analytics, which translates into better insights for the company so they can act on them to improve their costs and efficiencies even further.
The Cons of Using IoT for Business
Expanded vulnerability to data breaches — With the growing use cases for IoT in businesses like distributors, healthcare and agriculture, a cyber attack has new meaning. It’s no longer just client and business data that could be stolen — but a hack could also disrupt the very way you do business by shutting down supply line data, for instance, or halting an IoT assembly line. Data security and privacy are massive issues in the global collective consciousness today, and enterprises want to tread carefully with IoT because it can quickly accelerate the creation and transmission of data.
Barriers to entry — Larger, well funded companies are having an easier time integrating IoT technologies into the business ecosystem. They are better equipped to handle the costs of transitioning, having a staff to ensure the best privacy, security and data analytical features. IoT has the potential to lower many barriers to doing business — but the crossover to automation is often costly in terms of capital expenditures, time and staffing. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can fall behind bigger companies as IoT adoption becomes too costly for their budget and staff. This issue has only intensified since Covid-19 related shutdowns and a worldwide economic breakdown severely affecting the bottom line of small businesses.
“Firms with over 250 employees in the EU are six times more likely to benefit from analysis of data collected from smart devices or sensors (compared with SMEs).” — World Economic Forum
Network congestion — If your IoT data is being managed by a cloud provider, you may be sharing your network with other businesses. With IoT representing an acceleration of data across the board, small businesses may worry that their home office network will not have the bandwidth necessary to handle the addition of IoT data strategies. Older IoT devices or routers, which a small business may still be using due to lack of capital, can cause transmission delays, negatively affecting one of the true benefits of IoT — real time data for making real time business decisions.
Need for Human Resources Increases — Implementing cost-saving automation programs through the use of IoT will require tactful employee and company policy changes, which require extra work on the part of the HR department, in addition to the IT staff and management roles.
Uncertainty — IoT has been around in some shape or form for decades, but it is only recently we’ve seen increased adoption by enterprises. The benefits in terms of profits is not easily obtainable information quite yet, and bigger business will have an easier time taking the risk since they have more capital to work with as they figure out the right IoT strategy for their business.
Complexity — Perhaps the most pressing problem for most enterprises when it comes to IoT is complexity. How does a business manage all the devices, data, networks, analytics, IT staff, and cloud management? This vast new web of data that offers so much promise also can be a huge headache when it comes to integration and deployment. Many bigger companies are already leaning in, but they have the financial and human resources to go through this complex integration process. Small businesses are at the place now where they need to stay competitive and use IoT, but the barriers to entry sometimes are too great to overcome.
Solutions for Modern Business
It’s obvious that IoT has a lot to offer SMEs as well as large companies in the way of increased efficiency and cost savings over the long term. But in order for more businesses to take advantage of these benefits, solutions are needed to combat the barriers to entry, fear of data hacks and lack of privacy.
Arckadl’s Blockchain Session Controller™ has an answer that is being tested by major service providers as we speak. By using a cloud data management system that integrates public and private blockchains, they’ve enabled SMEs and large corporations alike to accelerate their use of IoT devices and data. Arckadl levels the playing field for businesses struggling to remain open during a recession and offers a glimmer of hope for them to benefit from the best in blockchain cloud technology.
Learn more at Arckadl.com.