How Will the Internet of Things Affect Your Business in 2016?

February 29, 2016

The Internet of Things is a relatively new term that people are becoming familiar with as technology improves on almost a daily basis. It refers to everyday items that are enhanced with smart technology, such as Bluetooth or RFID sensors.

Businesses are encountering and implementing the Internet of Things within their own companies too. This uncharted territory has both its advantages and disadvantages as we enter 2016. The Internet of Things will affect your business on several levels so it’s critical to be aware of these facts.

1. Giving You Better Insight Into Your Products

Companies design a specific product and send it out into the marketplace. From that point forward, profit margins and customer opinions are the basic feedback that businesses use as benchmarks when indicating success. With the Internet of Things, smart technology is embedded within each item.

Information is actually transmitted back to the company about the product’s use and success rate. As a result, companies will know when a product is being used in its intended manner or for alternative purposes.

This transmitted data tells you more about the product than ever before. Alter and improve the product with this information during future production meetings.

2. Opening You Up to Potential Fraud

There are so many opportunities within the Internet of Things that it’s important to note one of the major drawbacks. When every product has a smart chip, hackers have a chance at breaking into those transmissions. Although the information may not be critical to the hacker, such as a person’s heart rate, they can pull other data from those communications.

Businesses in 2016 must have strong security software to ward off any hacking attempts. If a hacker has one email address, it’s possible for them to slowly work their way into a corporation’s server files.

3. Enhancing Product Features

A common wristwatch is used to give you the time and date, but consumers want more features in every item they purchase today. Integrating smart features into a product means that it can remain competitive with similar items.

If one product has two or three features that help it stand out from the crowd, it will usually sell better in the marketplace. As smart chips dwindle in size, they can be added to and enhanced for almost any product line. It’s even possible for a yoga mat to have smart features in 2016.

5. Improving Daily Productivity

Another smart way that technology is benefiting businesses is through sensor devices. Production machines might have dozens of sensors that report productivity levels to the main server. Managers can use this information to adjust production efficiency.

A combination of quality employee training and well-maintained machines will usually improve overall production levels. Without those sensors, businesses are relegated to trial-and-error strategies that might hinder profit margins until the right solution is found.

Sensors can also be used to understand how employees work with coworkers during the day and how that affects performance. By tracking vocal intonations, proximity, and body language during conversations, these sensors can understand group cohesiveness and circumstances that facilitate the most productive conversations or meetings for employees.

Another useful way to use sensors on the job is through wearable smart technology. Inventory specialists can use armbands to track which aisle they’re on instead of keeping track of items on a clipboard or handheld device. Employees can now work without those additional interruptions.

6. Interconnecting Businesses

Different businesses rely on others for their parts, services and other critical operations. The Internet of Things makes business connections easier because the technology performs most of the work.

For example, a small company might supply a specific fabric to a cellphone accessory manufacturer. Smart-chip technology shared between these two companies tells the fabric supplier when more fabric is necessary. As a result, several companies benefit from smart technology while allowing both small and large businesses to work harmoniously together.

Hiring brand-new, college graduates for your IT team is a clever step in the right direction when you’re trying to use the Internet of Things effectively. These bright individuals can breathe new life into your products while retaining their classic attraction with consumers. In the end, a diverse workplace can make smart technologies an integral part of everyday profits and success.