The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe networks of devices that automatically share information with no need for human input. A popular example is the notion of a “smart fridge.” In theory, smart fridges could monitor the type and weight of food stored, then connect with an online shopping cart to place grocery orders as necessary.
On a larger scale, the IoT can be used to monitor crop growth in farms, production lines in factories, and even regulate traffic in cities via a complex system of traffic signals. In general, lay people and technology professionals alike have welcomed the IoT, although there are concerns about data security.
What is digital transformation?
“Digital transformation” is the process by which a business integrates technology into every stage of production and provision of goods and services. Technology allows business owners to gather accurate data that can help them make smart commercial decisions.
A useful way of conceptualizing digital transformation is to view it as a process by which a business can bring their operations in line with demands of today’s customers.
In order to survive, modern businesses will have to make radical changes. According to Forrester, the majority of executives believe digital channels will drive over half (49%) of their total sales.
How exactly does IoT facilitate digital transformation?
Let’s take a closer look at how the IoT plays a role in modernizing businesses.
It facilitates inventory management:
Sensors and tracking devices that collect data on the movement and storage of goods enables a business to streamline inventory management, thus reducing waste and saving money. Technology can monitor all stages of the manufacturing process, meaning that any problems or safety breaches can be detected early.
It allows companies to harness artificial intelligence (AI):
Some IoT applications can be used to automatically generate insights that allow prompt engagement with customers. For instance, chatbots that rely on previous interactions with customers can then provide them with support across multiple platforms, continuing the conversation even if they switch devices.
It helps companies reduce their energy costs:
Individuals and companies alike can now control their energy consumption on a remote basis. Using apps that connect to the thermostat, it’s easy to adjust the temperature from afar.
It makes the recruitment process simpler and quicker:
The IoT enables HR professionals to coordinate job postings, online screening, online tests, and video interviews both in and out of the office.
IoT makes everyday HR processes simpler:
Employees can use mobile apps to notify their employers about sick days, vacations, and even any concerns they have about their fellow employees. This information is then logged and analysed by HR software and used to track employee performance. It can also be invaluable in monitoring employee morale and company culture.
IoT can improve business security and safety:
By collecting and transmitting data from sensors and security cameras, the IoT can help businesses identify security breaches and gather evidence that may prove vital in proving a case in court. This technology can also help employees feel more secure at work.
It helps businesses understand how customers engage with their products and services:
The IoT can collect and aggregate insights into customer behavior, which in turn can help a business identify opportunities to increase customer satisfaction and offer new products.
For example, suppose a clothing store uses smart tags that identifies how many outfits a customer tries on before making a purchase. If the data suggest that their demographic are willing to spend a long time deliberating over their purchases, they may be able to justify a decision to spend more money constructing changing rooms.
The IoT also allows businesses to provide a more personalized experience. For instance, when a customer browses an online store from their mobile device, details of pages they have visited and how long they have spent on each will influence the content they are shown when they next log on to their account, regardless of the device they are using.
It changes the way retailers supply goods:
Most people now shop online at least occasionally. They expect that a retailer will have an online presence. At a basic level, this means retailers must adopt technology that allows customers to easily make purchases from their devices.
Customers should be able to access shopping carts and customer service from their phones, tablets, computers. Businesses need to set up reliable systems that record and generate helpful information that lets them keep their operations running smoothly.
The IoT can also be used to track deliveries. By fitting vans with GPS, businesses can monitor their progress along a delivery route and detect irregularities in driver behavior. Delivery data can help them refine routes taken by drivers, and devise realistic delivery times.
Increasingly, customers expect their purchases to arrive within a couple of days, so this information can prove pivotal in providing a good experience that encourages customer loyalty. When incorporated into packaging, trackers could also ensure that customer returns are appropriately handled and direct toward the right department.
IoT can reduce time spent on data analysis:
Because IoT makes transmitting and analyzing data simpler and faster, employees are free to devote their time and energy to other tasks, such as devising new products.
In summary, the IoT tech offers numerous opportunities for businesses who want to leverage complex data.
Digital transformation is now the rule, not the exception
By 2025, the number of internet-connected devices is anticipated to exceed 80 billion worldwide. Against this backdrop, the rise of the IoT is inevitable. We are moving beyond basic cloud computing and into a new era of dynamic data transfer.
It’s important to realize that businesses rarely undergo digital transformation overnight. This may be due to budgetary constraints, but company culture can also be a significant factor. Breaking away from traditional approaches often elicits fear and uncertainty. However, if a business is to thrive in the 21st century, they have no choice but to embrace the challenges and opportunities afforded by the IoT.
Kristin Savage has graduated from Columbia University where she was majoring in Germanic Languages. Besides English as her mother tongue she also speaks German and Dutch fluently. Currently Kristin is studying Spanish and planning to obtain her PhD in Applied Linguistics since she is interested in how to use her to some extent practical knowledge of language processes in everyday life. She has been a writer at Pick Writers for a few years and is known for her thorough approach to all the tasks and aspiration to fulfill assignments with flying colors.
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