What is the Internet of Things, and How Will it Affect Businesses?

You may have heard the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ thrown about lately – but what IS the Internet of Things?

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term used to describe a network of connected, internet-enabled devices.

These ‘smart’ devices can communicate with one another, and by combining them with automated systems it’s possible to collect information, analyse it and create an action.

For example, your smart heating controls, TV and fridge might all be remotely accessible and controllable through a mobile app.

A growing network

Most commentators agree that the Internet of Things is growing. Gartner estimates that there are 8.4 billion IoT devices in use in 2017, and that this number will grow to 20.4 billion by 2020.

But as IoT proliferates, some people have argued that just because a device can connect to the internet, doesn’t mean it should.

Whilst many IoT devices make everyday tasks more efficient, saving us time, money and emissions, there are some that are at best useless, and at worst downright bizarre. Smart egg tray, anyone?

But back to the useful ones. The Internet of Things looks set to have a big impact on businesses.

How will the Internet of Things affect businesses?

Over the next few years, IoT is likely to change how we manage and operate our businesses.

Here are five ways the Internet of Things may affect your business:

It will revolutionise inventory management

When all of your devices, equipment and products are interconnected, inventory management and tracking will become automatic and instantaneous, and you’ll have access to those metrics whenever you want.

Production and energy will be cheaper

Your devices and machines will have the ability to find more efficient ways to operate and maintain themselves, meaning costs will decrease. Not only that, but smart grid coordination is likely to mean energy is cheaper.

Consumer demands will change

As IoT proliferates, consumers will come to expect devices to be ‘smart’. Tech companies will rise to the challenge and meet this new demand with gadgets, appliances, wearables, furniture and more. This will open up new revenue streams for businesses.

Data, data everywhere

All these connected devices will be constantly collecting data, and you’ll need to keep track of it. You’ll be able to learn more about your customers, their behaviour and the way your business operates than ever before.

This information will help businesses learn how to adapt for the biggest impact – but they’ll need to make sure they’re ready to handle all that extra data!

Remote working will become easier

As IoT becomes more advanced and better integrated, it will become more feasible for staff to complete tasks remotely that would have previously required them to be on-site.

What is the Internet of Things, and how will it affect businesses?

So, what is the Internet of Things?

It’s a growing network of interconnected smart devices, and it’s likely to affect your business soon – if it hasn’t already.

Forward-thinking companies should pay attention to how this technology is developing, and think about how they can implement it to the best effect.

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