What if you had access to devices that essentially got rid of bottlenecks altogether while providing you with valuable data and solutions without even having to ask? That's the near future we're looking at with the Internet of Things.
Smart businesses are always searching for ways to boost productivity, run more efficiently, and get better at communication. Up until now, that mostly happens in the form of software solutions and good old-fashioned problem solving. You know the type–special teams investigate certain areas, find bottlenecks, review employee and customer surveys, etc. The Internet of Things (see our last post for what that is) is changing the problem solving and efficiency landscape for enterprises. Imagine being able to predict and prevent various problems remotely, saving time, money, and energy.
One of the things people are most excited about are sensors for home-use that detect when an item, like toilet paper, is out of stock. The sensor then contacts Amazon and a toilet paper delivery arrives on your doorstep within the next day (or few hours if drone delivery become the norm). Imagine if your business utilized sensors like these for everything from production to maintenance. IoT sensors would always know which parts are needed when, offices would stay stocked with supplies, and staff at all levels free up brain space, making them more effective on the job.
Real World Examples of Internet of Things
Here are some industrial settings where Internet of Things is already disrupting traditional workflow and efficiency. Maybe your business is working on similar tactics, or maybe you'll be inspired to soon.
-fetch and disinfect surgical devices
-detection of invisible bacteria on tools, prompting disinfection
-detection of dangerous leaks
-monitor inventory and order parts when necessary
-wall-mounted heart rate monitors detect when violence or self-harm is occurring
-monitor fluctuating seismic movement to control oil wells from surface safely
Read about more ideas and applications on this list put together by Libelium, an IoT platform provider.
All of this developing connectivity and data gathering allows enterprises to monitor manufacturing, distribution, transactions, and safety in new and seemingly advantageous ways. Discovering and dismantling inefficiencies may become easier than ever before. The trick is where to begin, and how to keep your company's data safe along the way. David Stephenson, a consultant on IoT has this piece of advice:
"This is crucially important for IoT strategies: instead waitingfor a radical transformation (which can be scary), viewit instead as a continuum, beginning with small, relatively-low cost steps which will feed back into more dramatic steps for the future."