Tech Terms 101: Intro to IoT
By Shannon N. Goff - January 28, 2019
Small to mid-sized businesses everywhere are starting to explore ways to transform their offices and take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT). If you’re unfamiliar with the term, or if you’re unsure where to start, you’re in the right place.
IoT is the concept of internet-connected devices that interact and exchange information. They can be remotely controlled and monitored. Linked together, they create a vast network of items and systems, collecting and sharing data about their surrounding environment. In your day-to-day, you may see IoT at play through a wearable fitness device that tracks your activity and relays it to an application on your phone, or maybe a "smart" light in your home that you can verbally command. But what about IoT in the workplace?
IoT and Your Business
The amount of IoT-friendly devices and smart systems is constantly increasing. Dip your toes into IoT with some of the options below that may increase efficiency, encourage productivity, and boost your bottom line.
- Make managing inventory “smarter” with sensors that increase the accuracy of product tracking by delivering comprehensive, real-time data collection and analysis. You can even receive alerts when a certain item is approaching low stock, or gain insight into what products are most popular with your consumers to evolve your offerings and improve customer satisfaction.
- Save money with smart utilities. IoT-capable thermostats regulate the temperature of your office according to occupancy, keeping employees comfortable and decreasing energy consumption in the process. Automated lights drive larger energy savings by dimming rooms that no employees are using or automatically turning off when the building is locked down for the night. This is an easy way to start the migration to a smart office while seeing immediate benefits.
- Put your mind at ease while protecting your most important assets with smart security systems. Internet-based security systems are typically less expensive and easier to connect to monitoring equipment than older devices. Up the ante with motion sensors that can report unexpected activity, or access control systems that record who has been in an area and when they arrived and left.
The world of IoT is a lot to take in. There are so many offerings and options, it’s difficult to know exactly what you need or where to begin. Connect with an expert IT provider and dedicate time to properly research.
- Develop a game plan. Figure out what you can do now, what you want to achieve, and the steps you need to take to get there.
- Look for practical IoT solutions that will work for your company right away.
- Select technology with high cross-compatibility, tech you can build on.
Don’t get overwhelmed, take it one system or device at a time if you need to. Just make sure you don’t take too long to adapt. The sooner you get started, the sooner your business can get a leg up on the competition, stimulate growth and ultimately become more profitable.