How IoT can help your business adapt to the changing times
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been creating ripples in the business world for a few years now.
Simply put, it refers to connected devices such as sensors, smartphones and wearables. When combined with automated systems, they talk to each other – gathering data, analysing it and acting upon it.
In agriculture, for example, farmers use IoT technology to monitor soil condition or detect things like insects and bad weather, all of which can affect their crops. Receiving alerts via text message or through an app, they have time to prepare for and adapt to these ever-changing variables.
It is thought that early adopters have already seen great benefits such as improved employee productivity, less machine down time and brand-new streams of revenue. During the pandemic, IoT has acted as a key enabler for many. And here’s why.
The connected workplace
There’s one simple reason why IoT has been so valuable to companies: knowledge is power.
Business leaders – who used to rely on revenue, cost figures and their instincts to inform their decisions – now have an in-depth view of exactly how their organisation operates at a granular level. And this deeper view into their business has brought about significant benefits.
For SMEs in particular, 84% of respondents in our IoT Spotlight Report said IoT data is key to making the best commercial decisions, with 73% going as far to say it’s mission critical for at least one of their projects.
The insight provided by IoT can help businesses flexibly respond to unexpected changes and plan for the future more efficiently. 48% of small and medium-sized businesses say they are now using IoT data to drive innovation and better their business, while 63% say they are using IoT to serve customers more effectively and flexibly.
In our Future Ready Report, the mark of a ‘future-ready’ business is one that is open to new technology and is taking steps towards business transformation.
What makes IoT special is the ability to bring technologies like cloud, AI and 5G together to make a digitally advanced business. In fact, 82% of small and medium-sized businesses say they can now do things they couldn’t before as IoT brings them closer to being truly digital.
With the current pandemic, there are new limitations as to what a business can and can’t do. In this climate, features of IoT that were once seen as a nice-to-have have become key to the continuation of many businesses around the world.
IoT during COVID-19
Faced with new restrictions, businesses have had to rapidly accelerate their digital transformation in order to remain operational. Up to 74% of small and medium-sized businesses said changing their IoT approach in order to adapt ways of working was essential to keeping operations running.
And it’s helped – 78% of SMEs said they felt IoT was a key factor in ensuring business continuity during periods of disruption, helping them to pivot to remote working and strengthen their supply chains.
With many organisations keen to digitise their operations this year, it’s clear IoT is now a top component of a successful and resilient business.
For SMEs in particular, 84% of respondents said IoT is now critical for their future success and 91% have already seen a positive return on investment since adopting IoT.