We’re now living on the verge of a new era of corporate productivity. Thanks to the emergence of incredibly advanced connected devices made possible by IoT or the one name we are all familiar with, the internet of things.
Even after so many brilliant predictions have been made by experts, many business leaders and CEOs are still wondering: Can the Internet of Things (IoT) really help my business work smarter?
But there won’t be any need for second thoughts since IoT is so powerful that it can help businesses reduce expenses and increase profits significantly.
So, let’s closely analyse how IoT ecosystems can improve business productivity, efficiency and success!
We can’t begin this article without a basic understanding of IoT. So, in its broadest sense, the term “Internet of Things” refers to everything hooked up or simply connected to the internet. However, it is increasingly being used to define devices that communicate with the local area network, the internet, and each other without the need for human involvement.
The Internet of Things (IoT) now includes everything, from a smart fish tank to an industrial machine, kudos to wireless networks and smaller, more powerful processors. As a result, these previously “silly” devices can connect the virtual and physical worlds and perform tasks that humans previously performed! That does sound like something interesting, right? Yes, I also agree; it is!
Now, let’s look at some of the key elements of an IoT ecosystem. Shall we?
You don’t need to get confused with the word ‘ecosystem’; I’ve got you covered.
So, if we take the word ‘ecosystem’ – any ecosystem refers to a complex network of interconnected components and the environment in which they live and interact. Like the flow of energy, some cycles (such as the nutrition cycle in biology), their environment connects all components etc., are a few diverse examples of ecosystems.
The thing that separates a system from an ecosystem is the point of interconnection between all constituents and the environment. And this ‘thing’ is of the utmost importance in an ecosystem. While an ecosystem is tightly connected to its environment, a system by itself creates a complex and unified whole.
Since IoT devices are worthless without the environment, we might refer to them as an IoT ecosystem rather than an IoT system. So, the main advantage here is the data that IoT devices provide to individuals. Apart from their connection to the environment, all devices are interconnected, but the people who use the data are their ultimate destination.
Now, let’s discuss the IoT ecosystem in more detail by closely examining the major elements of an IoT ecosystem which make it this much powerful and revolutionary.
The following diagram results from breaking down the most complex IoT ecosystem with a middle layer into its parts:
Now let’s move on to how IoT ecosystems, especially the cloud, helps your business increase productivity by securing high efficiency and easy business flow.
According to Investopedia, the Internet of Things aims to have devices that self-mark in real-time, enhancing efficiency and bringing critical information to the surface faster than a system that depends on human intervention.
To this end, the number of IoT devices has skyrocketed in recent years. A Gartner article on the futuristic impacts of Edge computing and IoT predicted that 50 billion gadgets could be connected to the Internet by 2025.
Also, many offices are now becoming more productive thanks to smart technologies. The IoT may streamline regular tasks, optimise operations, and lower costs by integrating them into daily processes. In fact, according to one study, the IoT might increase productivity by $1.2 trillion globally. Below are a few ways they’re helping businesses; take a look.
The availability of remote work options is one way that employee productivity is rising. Thanks to connected devices, employees no longer need to be in the same physical place to collaborate. Your staff can handle their work remotely over shared networks thanks to cloud-hosted software and portable devices. A Harvard Business Review survey found that 58% of respondents said IoT-based initiatives had enhanced collaboration within the business.
Efficient automation is another huge possibility with the help of IoT technology. Nowadays, smart offices use several linked devices that monitor, operate, and manage diverse operations within a business. Utilising these to automate repetitive processes typically performed by people can enhance efficiency and free up their time to concentrate on more difficult work.
The large amount of data collected from IoT devices can be used in many ways, making IoT beneficial for businesses. One way to use this data is to help refine day-to-day operations. For example, some businesses use smart sensors in their buildings to see when certain rooms are most busy and where employees spend most of their time. This information can then be used to schedule meetings more effectively and reduce the disruptive impact of meetings on employee productivity.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can help organisations use resources more effectively and reduce wasteful spending while increasing staff productivity. The utilisation of intelligent heating and lighting systems is one illustration of this. Systems like the Nest Thermostat can reduce energy use from excessive heating and cooling. These savings might pile up over a year, particularly if your business is located in a large building.
IoT allows you to track the shipping and delivery of your products, helping you more accurately monitor arrival times and logistics. Smart tags and sensors can also help track inventory levels in real time and even track where items are in a warehouse or store. This increases inventory efficiency, improving the company’s cash flow. More accurate inventory tracking also means reducing over-ordering and ensuring your most popular products are in stock to maximise profits.
Finally, let’s briefly discuss how the convergence of the cloud and IoT can benefit your business.
The Internet of Things serves as the data source, and cloud computing provides a means to store data. Because of the convergence of cloud computing and the Internet of Things, businesses can grow exponentially. How do these two work together to bring about digital transformation?
In today’s world, businesses are using IoT to empower their data strategy by providing real-time data. A better understanding of how the business is operating and a better understanding of business units that were previously unavailable. IoT data also differs from traditional business data because it combines data from applications and sensors with data from connected devices.
Thanks to the cloud’s ability to store large amounts of data, businesses can now simultaneously process and store data from enterprise systems and IoT devices. In addition, they can scale by using the cloud as a single point of contact for all their disparate systems. Therefore, storing data collectively rather than separately helps companies eliminate the need for systems integration and auditing.
While there are still many concerns about cloud security, recent moves by top cloud providers are beginning to change that perception. While most companies have one or more dedicated security experts, IoT cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft have thousands. These large security teams are also committed to best practices, industry-specific standards, and certifications. You can rely on its security if you want to use a cloud solution for your IoT implementation.
As cloud integrity becomes more mature, enterprises can communicate more efficiently and securely with their IoT devices. Additionally, cloud service providers continually review their systems to give customers easy access to performance and security data.
By storing IoT device data in the cloud and making it available to registered employees anywhere, departments within an organisation can collaborate seamlessly. Consequently, employees’ interest, efficiency, productivity and teamwork awareness will also increase.
Cloud computing and IoT can ensure rapid data recovery in emergencies, including natural disasters, human error, and power outages. Studies report that 20% of cloud users completed their disaster recovery process within 4 hours or less, while 9% of non-cloud users reported the same. So, the possibilities for data loss and other IT-related disasters are also possible.
Scalability is one of the biggest benefits of putting IoT systems in the cloud. When dealing with a complex LAN infrastructure, scaling requires additional hardware purchases, more time investment, and more configuration work.
On the other hand, for cloud-based IoT systems, adding new resources often involves renting additional virtual servers or more cloud space. Both of which often have the added benefit of rapid deployment. As a result of cloud platforms for IoT, you can reduce storage requirements and the number of IoT-enabled objects.
Recently, there have been a lot of advancements and innovations in integrating IoT and AI. ThinkPalm is already equipped with all those recent innovations to deliver top-notch seamless services to our clients.
And because of the end-to-end solution, devices can now conduct AI tasks locally and log data in real time to the cloud. It provides a framework for finding business solutions.
So, as this technology evolves, we will see IoT scenarios go far beyond the traditional use cases we see today. This will lead to smart buildings, cities and integrated work management. This will help make society more efficient and enable our workforce to be more productive than ever.
As a result, we will continue to see organisations focus more on their security and storage needs. Which will help them take full advantage of this powerful technology now and in the future.