Advancements in technology over the past decade have enabled businesses to do more than ever, helping to deliver a better customer experience as well as improving the bottom line.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the biggest drivers of technological advancements. The Internet of Things describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.
This can be as simple as a smartphone, smartwatch or home assistant to anything as complicated as industrial IoT applications like smart power grids and even smart cities.
The IoT is all about connectivity and companies that are embracing the technology are starting to reap the benefits.
The power of data
One thing that the IoT enables businesses to do is to collect a huge amount of data. This data – often referred to as “big data” – is the driving force behind the improvements we see in terms of customer experience, product development and more.
It’s not just businesses that are benefiting from the data. If you think about how most of us live of lives – we have a constant stream of data being collected and presented to us from the steps we take each day to the shows we watch on our TVs at night – connectivity is helping to collect, process and present that information at a personal level so imagine the possibilities at a business level.
Businesses use the data collected by IoT connected devices and machines in order to make decisions based on what is actually happening rather than what they think is happening. The amount of data that businesses can collect is almost endless and they rely on analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) programmes in order to quickly process the data and return valuable insights that can be actioned.
How is the IoT benefiting businesses?
Whilst most of us will be familiar with IoT connected devices such as home assistants and smartphones or even our fridges, the applications for business are not as widely publicised. Make no mistake, however. Businesses are using IoT connectivity to collect, analyse and process data and turn the findings into actionable steps to help them to grow and to deliver a better experience for their customers.
Data is collected across a wide range of industries and through a variety of platforms to help to improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve the outcomes for customers. Some of the benefits to businesses of the IoT include:
- Greater access to data – data is the key driver when it comes to the benefits for a Iot for businesses. Being able to collect data from pretty much any object using sensors. You can track the efficiency of machinery, track and trace inventory, monitor patient health, monitor road conditions – the opportunities are limitless and businesses and starting to tap into the potential, however, we are still only scratching the surface of what is possible and over the next decade, we will see an even greater impact of the IoT.
- Improved customer engagement – smart technology in the home allows businesses to monitor the performance and proactively deal with any faults that might occur. The technology can send a message to a service technician who can book a job in to come and look at an appliance, without the customer having to do anything. This functionality has already been rolled out in smart cars and other connected devices like washing machines and fridges. Businesses are also using Bots powered by AI to deal with customer service enquiries via social media, helping to improve efficiencies and deliver a 24/7 service to customers.
- Improved products and services – businesses are using the data they collect to improve the products and services they offer to customers. Betway Online Casino, for example, uses big data to improve the games they deliver through their online platform. They use technology to monitor player behaviour and provide more accurate estimations about sports betting, improving the products and services they provide for customers.
The future will be powered by the IoT
Whilst some businesses are already embracing the potential of the IoT, the potential for the technology is huge. We will start to see more and more smart cities emerging, powered by connectivity as cities look to reduce traffic congestion, reduce emissions and improve the overall quality of life for citizens.
Whenever we think of the word “smart” – this now often refers to devices and objects that are connected to the IoT. What makes them smart is the data they collect and process and how that data is then used to make improvements to our lives.
A lot of these technological advancements will go unseen – they will seamlessly filter into our lives, making everything we do more simple and straightforward and reducing the friction points along our customer journey.
It’s an exciting world to be a part of and to see how technology is being used to improve our lives – whilst they don’t always get it right, the leaders that are pushing the boundaries when it comes to the potential for the technology are the ones making the biggest impact.