IoT is not just a theory that people talk about on tech forums anymore. IoT (Internet of Things) is already an integrated part of our lives and it impacts the way we communicate and do business. It’s not at its full potential yet, as there are so many things still to come, but it’s bigger than we think.
Do you remember how different the world was before smartphones?
Just think about that for a second. In a matter of years, the smartphone revolution changed so many aspects of our daily life. The way we communicate, shop, do business, promote our businesses, evaluate our needs and even the way we teach our children. It all changed, right?
Many people were skeptical about smartphones at first, some people that used to be high-profile influencers back in 2005-2007 said that this kind of devices would not sell.
John Rubinstein, who used to work for Apple and worked on developing great things like the iPod and the MacBook, said that the idea of a smartphone will simply not work.
And I quote: ‘Is there a toaster that also knows how to brew coffee? There is no such combined device, because it would not make anything better than an individual toaster or coffee machine. It works the same way with the iPod, the digital camera or mobile phone: it is important to have specialized devices.’
Oh, and by the way, the toaster that can brew coffee exists as well. And I found his quote by using my smartphone.
The reason why I have mentioned this is to show you why we should be actively interested in technology and focus on the benefits and opportunities that it can generate for our businesses.
Leaving the past aside, think about your business.
- Do you feel like it’s up to date with today’s technology?
- Do you feel like your business is ready for the IoT and big data?
If you have answered my questions with a big YES, then stop reading the following paragraphs.
Image credits – wi-fi.org
If you have chosen to read further, here are some IoT aspects (that will impact your business) to think about:
- New revenue streams. With IoT everything is connected. This means that many companies can develop new services and use new business models; all of this with the benefit of global visibility.
- Increasing demand for IoT products. This will not only impact manufacturing companies and software development companies. This will impact small businesses as well, as they need to be prepared to reach their audiences through the new channels created by IoT products.
- More privacy concerns. Simply because things are not perfect and because data has value. Your business can face two different sides of this issue. On one side, the potential attacks, as the more data you have, the more people will want it.
On the other side, you will face user concerns about how you collect and manage their data. It might not hurt to assess your security measures and take preventive actions.
- Marketing will change. Many marketing people got left behind when marketing became online oriented. We will witness the same thing in a few years from now.
The plain old methods of online marketing will not work anymore. Just throwing ads and content out there and hoping that customers or potential customers will respond will simply not work (not that it delivers great results in the present, either). The new rule of thumb will be personalization.
- More data. Big data and IoT are a perfect match. IoT opens the doors to much more data (thinking about storage right now, aren’t you?).
You must think about how IoT is going to affect your business and the way your business collects data. Your company must be ready to collect and store relevant data. This can only be done by establishing the right infrastructure to support it.
- Efficiency and automation. Some of us will find out that our jobs can be replaced by smart machines or automation (just think about the simple self-checkout machines that we see in stores today). This does not mean that people will be out of jobs, it just means that they have to adapt, switch fields, move jobs.
Efficiency will also be improved as IoT will make it easier for companies to oversee their business, employees and their supply chain.
I am not trying to say that you need to focus on IoT and big data only, in order to successfully run your business. What I am suggesting is that you should think about integrating both IoT and big data in your long-term business plan.