How will the Internet of Things (IoT) affect your firm in 2017?

IoT benefits: A picture of a computer - Jayson DeMers (writing in Forbes magazine) says companies will be able to use data-based insights to come up with more effective advertising and more

IoT benefits: Jayson DeMers (writing in Forbes magazine) says companies will be able to use data-based insights to come up with more effective advertising and more

YOU may well have heard of the Internet of Things, but have you considered the impact it is having and will have on businesses in 2017?

Here at SCS Group we are always interested in the latest technological developments, so when Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers penned an article for the magazine this week about the Internet of Things in 2017, we had to have a read.

As you may already know, the Internet of Things – or IoT – refers to ‘a system where a range of devices that connect to the internet can also connect to one another and send data between them’ (Yorkshire Evening Post).

Mr DeMers says in the Forbes article that 2017 is likely to be the year IoT finally starts taking off, with products like Google Home and Amazon Echo emerging and gaining popularity.

He says: “Even though original estimates held that we’d see 50 billion “connected” devices by 2020, revised estimates are still targeting nearly 30 billion, representing an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the near future.

Is your business ready?

“So here’s the question – is your business ready for the IoT? Even if you don’t deal directly with technology, IoT devices are going to have a massive impact on how you do business.”

Mr DeMers has come up with seven ways the IoT is likely to change businesses in 2017. They are:

1: Data, data, data – this will have a big impact for marketers and entrepreneurs in particular, who will have greater access to data than ever before, says Mr DeMers. He says smart devices will be able to track consumer behaviour and make intelligent product recommendations, while companies will be able to use data-based insights to come up with more effective advertising and more.

2: Inventory tracking and management – Mr DeMers says in the near future, smart devices should be able to keep tabs on inventory changes completely automatically, freeing up your workers for more important, cognitively demanding tasks.

3: Remote work – remote working employees “will be more connected than ever before, and may be able to accomplish new types of tasks from remote locations by tapping into devices in your office or factory floor”.

4: Speed and accessibility – since consumers will have access to new forms of research and purchasing, the buying cycle will likely diminish in length, says Mr DeMers, adding: “Consumers will, with a handful of spoken phrases, be able to find and order exactly the product they’re looking for, and they’ll demand delivery of the product sooner (since all our technological advances tend to emphasize instant gratification). Fortunately, your partners, suppliers, and logistics providers will all have similarly advanced technology at their disposal, meaning you’ll be able to serve your customers faster.”

5: Efficiency and productivity – the latest and greatest IoT developments will likely allow you and your workers to accomplish large-scale tasks faster and with greater precision, including data analysis and management, says Mr DeMers.

6: New consumer needs – Mr DeMers says: “Smart’ devices will become the new standard for appliances, gadgets, and maybe even items like furniture. Consumers will also demand more integration, more efficient tools, and accessories that make their new smart home-enabled lives smoother and more efficient. It will be your job to dream up the ideas that can make that a reality.”

7: New staffing needs – you’ll need experts in IoT technology if you’re going to be successful in integrating these devices into your current procedures, and data analysts if you want to make the best use of the data, says Mr DeMers.

IoT devices set to ‘explode in popularity’

When estimating a timeline, Mr DeMers says that with two major ‘home base’ devices on the market and dozens more to come, he suspects 2017 will be the year IoT devices explode in popularity, with at least a third of all homeowners owning at least one smart device.

He said: “Beyond that, it’s too hard to predict a timeline accurately, but the changes are coming. The question is, will you be ahead of or behind your competition when they come?”

For the full story, visit the Forbes website by clicking here.