It is incredible how we take technology for granted. It is so easy to connect devices with one another that we often forget how life used to be before the Internet of Things. Smart devices have changed how we do everyday tasks.
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Just consider a common example: smart homes. Regulating room temperature, adjusting the lights, or even looking at your energy consumption are few of the things that can be done directly from our mobile phones thanks to powerful apps. IoT is so easy-going that at Koombea HQ we even use it to open doors and activate the elevator through our own access mobile app.
Throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, and especially after it, we at Koombea expect that IoT will gain more relevance. No matter the scenario, the future belongs without a doubt to IoT. However, even with all its benefits, there’s still one thing about IoT that puzzles me.
The IoT Challenge
The one thing that puzzles me about IoT is the relatively slow rate of adoption on behalf of big companies. As with many other technologies, one would assume that enterprises are the perfect early adopters. They have the necessary resources to benefit in every possible way. Manufacturing plants, public utilities, transportation companies, all of them and more can directly benefit from IoT, but surprisingly, the adoption rate seems to be lagging. Although some brands are making use of it, there is still a lot of room to grow.
This might be because of a lack of knowledge on the topic, or because everyone is so busy with day to day things that innovation ends up being left aside. Whatever the case is, I firmly believe there is nothing like a good read to motivate the innovator in you.
Since I know many companies would like to use state of the art IoT technologies in their companies, here are a few practical ideas on how it can be implemented. These ideas do not reflect any industry in particular. They are easily adaptable to any company or process.
If you are wondering how the pandemic will affect IoT, let me tell you that it will only accelerate the inevitable digital transformation. As a result, I highly recommend you read this if you want to stay relevant in your industry.
Data Points & Better Decisions
This is at the top of the list for one reason: IoT is all about data. Thanks to IoT’s capabilities, companies now have the possibility of collecting real-time data in numerous ways. By installing special devices in critical data points, companies can measure all sorts of workflows. Only by doing so can complex processes be optimized. As management guru Peter Drucker used to say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
Having real-time data becomes essential as companies need to make critical decisions without wasting time. In the post-pandemic future, resilience will be the norm for those companies that wish to stand out. Thanks to IoT, it is now easier to adapt to changes. Nonetheless, to do so, processing the data you’ve collected into more user-friendly insights will be necessary.
The best way to retrieve information and get a grip of it is through easy to use apps. Implementing IoT may not be a walk in the park depending on what you plan to do, but using it at least does not require expensive and difficult to use enterprise software. Apps have the potential to retrieve information collected by devices and present it in a friendly way, and the best of all, you can use them from your mobile phone.
One of the most impactful ways in which IoT can help you obtain relevant data from your processes is by implementing it directly into your assets, specifically your machines and equipment.
By installing the right devices in the right places you can have access to critical process stats. This empowers you to easily identify if something is operating at a suboptimal level or if something is urgently needing maintenance. IoT lets you focus on a prevention first strategy to keep your equipment up to date and running smoothly.
Managing your assets through IoT solutions is particularly useful for companies that have huge inventories scattered through different locations. Companies involved in high-quality products also have much to gain from this technology. The same can be said of companies that are required to comply with regulatory requirements.
Remote Cloud Management
Having real-time information available is great, but being able to remotely change your system’s parameters is even better. Lucky you that IoT allows you to have both. Companies that implement IoT are able to manage their systems in a fully smart way. Thanks to the cloud, it is possible to manage certain device functionalities in a remote way.
Remote functionalities are not only related to risk management issues. Many daily operations can be done without the need for physical presence. Just as you can manage certain features of your house through your phone, you can also do the same within your company. There is still a long way to go before everything goes fully remote, but the current state of technology is a major advantage.
Some companies are combining IoT, data and Artificial Intelligence to create what some have called The Intelligence of Things. This has the potential to automate certain processes.
Managing a supply chain poses many challenges. Transportation requires guaranteeing the appropriate conditions for supplies to be in optimal conditions. However, it is impossible to have control of those conditions because companies usually rely on third parties for logistics. Even when they don’t, having the relevant information at hand is difficult.
Thanks to IoT, your company can now have greater control over supplies. You can monitor them in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about something going wrong after it’s too late. You can even identify which stage of the supply chain poses the most important challenges and requires your attention.
In the current pandemic situation, the world might be moving towards less physical contact, and this will undoubtedly affect customer relations. B2C companies can show their customers they care by making their experiences easier through mobile devices rather than through physical contact.
If your company manufactures products that are destined for end consumers, IoT is a great choice of technology. Take for example the case of how MedTech uses IoT to help patients. Patients and doctors can monitor important biometrics to know how a given treatment is evolving. It can even be implemented for things as simple as helping patients take their medicines through smart pillboxes.