From home automation to wearable tech, the Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to expand. These interconnected devices have the ability to absorb and respond to each other’s data using embedded sensors, opening up a network of potential possibilities for everyday life and business operations.
While larger businesses may already be on top of their game in terms of the IoT, small businesses may believe that leveraging this technology is out of their reach. Below, 13 members of Forbes Technology Council offer some ways that a business of any stripe can leverage the rapid growth of IoT.
1. Optimize Marketing Opportunities
One way any business can benefit from the exponential growth of the IoT is for marketing purposes. This area is still relatively untapped, though it has huge potential. Marketing teams can use the IoT to gather detailed data on potential customers, create targeted marketing campaigns and approach leads on an individual basis. This IoT-driven, personalized approach will yield higher returns. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor
2. Utilize Automation Technology
With more IoT and connected devices in the enterprise, there are terabytes of data sets being produced every day, leaving businesses figuring out how to process it all. Automation technology like AI and ML can sift through this data, automatically apply governance regulations, as well as categorize it by permissions, and ensure that the right people have access to the right data at the right time. – Sanjay Brahmawar, Software AG
3. Improve Building Management
Simple building management remains the cornerstone in any IoT deployment. Think thermostats, shades, lights and access control. IoT is a fabric of different technologies that all pivot on the building maintenance system initially deployed. If you can elate people with simple things like easy access, comfort and savings, everything else becomes an additional value prop. – Tom Roberto, Core Technology Solutions
4. Offer Personalized Services
IoT is paving the way for opportunities to employ computer vision via cameras and other visual sensors. It helps provide greater insights into customer behavior, requirements and critical aspects of an organization’s operations. IoT provides companies with data about each individual to deliver personalized services, enabling them to create more effective and focused marketing campaigns. – Roman Taranov, Ruby Labs
5. Optimize Your Website For Voice Search
One way to leverage the growing power of IoT is to optimize your website for voice search. It’s estimated that voice sales will hit $40 billion by the end of the year. Choosing conversational keywords can help you appear in the results for many IoT smart speakers, which typically leads to more traffic, sales and engagement. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
6. Use A Digital Assistant
The uses of IoT across industries vary greatly. One way just about every business could leverage IoT is by using the devices as digital assistants. As consumers, we are used to asking Siri or Alexa to perform various tasks, such as reciting the weather forecast. Imagine the uses in everyday business. “Alexa, display today’s sales reports in the main conference room.” Through IoT, all of that is possible! – Jeffrey Ton, InterVision
7. Enable Predictive Analysis
Real-time monitoring enables predictive analytics and operational efficiencies. The world of IoT can collect data through distributed sensors. The aggregation of data will allow businesses to analyze the data structure as information and then derive intelligence that enhances business operations by enabling significant cost savings and efficiency opportunities in a tech-enabled operating model. – Mark Brown, British Standards Institution (BSI)
8. Monitor Data In Real Time
Any business that conducts services in the form of machines, humans and equipment will benefit a lot from IoT. With all devices emitting data on their performance, businesses can monitor the data in real time, leading to a growth of revenue from predictive maintenance and service insights with a more personalized customer experience. This can lead to differentiation and high-value new services. – Buyan Thyagarajan, Eigen X
9. Execute ADA Accessibility Optimization
ADA accessibility optimization is step one, and it needs to be architected and executed with great care and consideration. Every human should be able to live, work and play within an online environment, and those who are focused on building for everyone at these early stages of IoT will win the day. – Meagan Bowman, STOPWATCH
10. Combine IoT Data With Other Data Sources
The Internet of Things offers a lot of opportunities for businesses to expand their customer base and bring forth unprecedented results. For one, the impact of IoT on data generation has been significant. Combining IoT data with data from other sources can offer businesses a real-time picture of their operations. Organizations can leverage this data to make better business decisions. – Chintan Shah, Brainvire InfoTech Inc.
11. Leverage Security Measures
Not all businesses can tap into the power of the Internet of Things. It may work well for the aviation, automotive and farming industries, but it is not likely to be used so much in services such as accounting or law. That said, I find the biggest use of IoT is with insurance where you can reduce theft, monitor usage and better assign risks related to high-value goods. – Blair Currie, Snibble Corp.
12. Collect Customer Data
One way a business can leverage the growth of the IoT is by using sensors to collect data about its customers and using that data to improve its products and services. For example, a retailer could use sensors to track how often customers visit the store, what items they purchase and how long they spend in the store. This data could be used to improve the store layout, stocking and marketing. – Fabio Moioli, Microsoft
13. Realize New Business Outcomes
The promise of the Internet of Things is about realizing new business outcomes. These include improving the efficiency of workers with process automation, creating and delivering new digital products through information-fueled insights and actions or scaling the business by enabling an ecosystem that augments individual capabilities by bringing them together in a unified solution. – Ranghan Venkatraman, Rezilyens LLC