What Makes IoT Valuable?
IoT has had an enormous impact on our lives, and most of the time – we don’t even realize it. New solutions are being introduced every day. The unprecedented growth of these connected or “smart” devices provides an untapped opportunity for solution providers to develop new business models, revenue streams and an enhanced B2B and B2C experience. The connected communication of these devices provides an unrestrained platform that can help maximize productivity, insights, and quality of life.
What Exactly is IoT?
IoT, or the Internet of Things, is this incredible system of interconnected devices that have the ability to communicate through a network without interaction from a person. Estimates reflect that there could potentially be between 20-50 billion connected devices by 2020.
By setting up machine-to-machine communication systems and creating algorithms that enable things and machines to control each other, we will create a new level of automation that will dramatically change how we interact, work, and collaborate. These machines can coordinate and communicate with one another to create an army of bots that are capable of acting together to monitor or even perform repairs with little to no human intervention.
What is the value of IoT?
The real value of IoT isn’t in these high-tech devices, but in the data that they deliver. The real-time analytics becomes a live communication network that fosters insights and improvements at a much faster pace. It’s all about being able to collect, understand, and act on the data collected – again without human intervention.
Collect: Data Collection and Storage from Sensors
Traditional data collection generally required direction from an individual, but now, sensors can be programmed to record data requiring minimal or no expertise or human interaction. By liberating data collection and interactions from users, the number of connected devices increases, and the accompanying supply of information grows exponentially. As sensors are exponentially increasing so is the volume of data points that are collected. Organizations today must have a system, platform and process in place to organize this data in order understand and act on it.
Understand: Interpreting the Data
IoT is delivering an array of new data, but how do organizations effectively interpret and pull insights from what they collected? Without the right tools, it can be difficult to really reap the benefits. When you have a system that is able organize the massive amount of data from IoT, then you will be able to understand and act on this information. An integrated dashboard to showcase the data in an easy to understand format can be an invaluable tool for any IoT solution. An investment in a system of sensors and data processing software can be used in multiple applications, both for an answer today and to provide context for the questions of tomorrow.
Act: Decision Making
As a consumer, think about the different fitness wearables that are available today. They track heart rate, body temperature, blood oxygen levels, and other complex measurements. Consumers can track their progress towards their fitness goals and make a decision about what comes next. Should they increase the amount of weights they are lifting? Should they do more cardio? The data they collect and interpret will tell them exactly what they need to know.
At the organizational level, the ability to make fast and informed decisions is crucial. When the data is collected and interpreted properly, it enables businesses to make smarter decisions about their products and services faster than ever. It can tell retailers who needs more inventory. It can help hospitals make decisions about staffing and patient care. The data can drive decisions that lead to new innovations across industries.
Technology will soon be part of nearly everything we do, both in business and at home. The bottom line: IoT is valuable when it allows for faster and better informed decisions on both the consumer and organizational level.