You may or may not have heard the term ‘The Internet of Things’, or the IoT. However just knowing the term will not suffice for much longer. It is becoming increasingly imperative for small business owners to realize how the IoT works and how it will affect the future of business.
Simplified, the internet of things is made up of all the devices or machines that can access or be by accessed by the internet. These devices typically collect, store and analyze data for a specific purpose. Any product considered ‘smart’, like phones, TVs or watches, are a part of the IoT. Another common example is things around your house you can control remotely via the internet, such as a Nest Thermostat.
The IoT has already had a big impact on business and yet many estimate that by 2020 over 26 billion devices will be connected. It has the potential to, and in all probably will, change the face of how people do business. If you are still struggling to see how the IoT will change how businesses operate, let me give you a quick example. Say that you own a small bakery. There are tons of ways the IoT will make just handling inventory so much easier and intuitive.
To keep it simple, let’s take one ingredient like flour. A device connected to the IoT would be constantly collecting data on the use of flour in your store. It would know the average amount of flour used in a day, month or year. The device would analyze information such as expiration date, amount left in inventory, seasonal popularity and many more factors. The device would then automatically order more flour for the store when it deemed it necessary, while providing other valuable information. Imagine how much simpler this will make things when every aspect of your business can be analyzed in the same way.
Ultimately anything with an on/off button will be among the internet of things.
Now is a great time for a business to investigate trends within the IoT and prepare themselves for this next wave of technology.