The Internet of Things (IoT) is making a massive impact on the way we live. IoT is creating exciting new ways to do things on practically a daily basis. The Internet of Things references the many devices and gadgets that are now interconnected via the internet, with this connectivity offering several exciting and useful new features that are not only enhancing our lives but also improving how we do business.
For years, IoT devices were popular amongst technophiles, who enjoy utilizing the latest innovations in technology. But this is no longer the case, as IoT devices are now widely used across a broad spectrum of individuals who enjoy the functionality without necessarily being “wowed” by the technology.
There is no indication that the Internet of Things will be slowing down any time soon. Gartner predicts that there will be 20.4 billion IoT devices in use by 2020, with the consumer segment being the largest at 63% of the IoT market. This massive growth presents many exciting opportunities for forward-thinking businesses and entrepreneurs.
Average consumers, while they may not actively pay attention to tech trends, still tend to be aware of new products and the advantages they offer due to the marketing programs of manufacturers. On top of that, these days’, people have developed higher expectations for products and the functionality they offer, often demanding the advanced features of IoT products
Why should startups and SMEs be paying attention to IoT?
Products utilizing IoT technology are growing at an exponential rate right now. Due to increasing popularity and advancements in technology, expect to see even greater IoT integration into business and consumer products.
The rising number of IoT enabled devices has prompted tech companies to respond and improve available technology. These new technologies create even greater demand, which in turn, pushes the next generation of advancements. It seems like we are on an unending cycle of exciting developments within the IoT space, where cutting-edge technologies are regularly released.
A perfect example of this is the upcoming release of 5G networks. The launch of 5G will increase data transfer speeds. This will improve our network infrastructure and better support the growing number of smart devices that are entering the market.
Another example of this is the switch to Bluetooth 5. Bluetooth 5 will better support the connectivity of new products. For example, Bluetooth 5 will increase the range over which devices can be connected to around 800 feet and reduce the amount of time it takes to transfer data.
These types of innovations will change the way businesses operate in the near future and better enable them to meet the high expectations of the modern consumer. As more companies begin to offer products that are enabled with IoT technology, your business cannot overlook the benefits of offering this technology or you will risk being left behind. You don’t want to find yourself a step behind your competitors watching them pull away.
No business is too small
When it comes to the latest technology trends and innovations, entrepreneurs, startups and small to medium-sized businesses often assume that the cost of leveraging the latest technologies is beyond their reach. While might have been the case years ago, the business environment has changed so that the latest technology is much more accessible to small companies and startups.
In fact, startups and small businesses may have some advantages over larger companies, in that they are more flexible and often have an openness to trying new and better approaches to engaging with their customers. This flexibility can make them more adaptable, while large companies often get bogged down in bureaucracy and an attitude of “doing things the way they have always been done”.
By embracing the Internet of Things, small businesses can improve operational efficiency, drive down costs, and gain an advantage over larger competitors in the market.
Enhance your customer engagement
One area where many different types of businesses can benefit from IoT is customer engagement. Don’t think about the Internet of Things as a way to target a wider audience, instead, consider ways that you can improve communication with your customers and offer a deeper, more personalized level of service. The modern consumer demands a level of service that is much higher than they did just a few years ago and the Internet of Things offers exceptional opportunities to enhance this relationship.
For example, IoT enabled devices allow businesses to better understand the preferences of their customers and many other types of data. This information can be used to enhance loyalty by delivering exactly what your customers are looking for. By utilizing data to improve the customer experience you can offer the ultimate in customer service.
Leverage the Internet of Things
There is an incredible range of functions that you can offer through IoT enabled technology. As we are seeing impressive new applications on a regular basis it seems like we are now limited only by our imaginations.
In fact, you can completely overhaul how a business functions by leveraging the Internet of Things and change from a simple product manufacturer into a service company that offers a wide range of services based on the IoT enabled products that you sell. IoT is changing the way businesses operate and creating many opportunities for businesses to redefine themselves and grow.
With consumers exhibiting an enhanced desire to adopt IoT based solutions, right now is the time to move into this exciting market. Having worked with several businesses to help them create IoT offerings, I am convinced that there a very few areas that would not be benefited by integrating this modern technology.
Right now, the world is rapidly changing, and as the Internet of Things gets further integrated into our personal and business lives, businesses must make sure that they are keeping up. By doing so, your business will be perfectly positioned placed to reap the benefits.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you cannot overlook the potential of the Internet of Things. Modern consumers are now expecting these tools and associated services to be part of new products. Even if your company is small, you should not be deterred from integrating IoT solutions; you may find that IoT gives you the advantage you need.