A new industrial revolution on the horizon
The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to spark significant changes in our everyday lives. The technology is expected to bring about the 4th industrial revolution, with predictions that its potentials for automation, data generation, and connectivity will change the face of many industries.
More companies continue to join the IoT bandwagon in droves. Gartner Inc. forecasts the number of IoT devices, which rose by 30% in 2016 to 6.4 billion, will more than double to 13.5 billion in 2020. That’s because IoT’s applicability lends itself in incredible ways to various functions of a business. Experts believe its adoption will introduce revolutionary changes to business techniques, operations, and job qualification requirements.
Ways the IoT is currently reshaping business frameworks
Here’s a look at some of the most significant ways that IoT will affect business:
IoT-driven growth in revenue from 2015 – 2018. img src.
- Greater accountability in inventory tracking and management
The IoT will expedite the tracking and management of storage, warehousing, and logistics activities. With remote automation and seamless data sharing, businesses will have greater control and accountability over their inventories and supply chains. Warehouses, office premises, and company fleets can be hardwired with sensors and other technologies to help for more time-efficient and effective co-ordination of monitoring and organizational activities. With real-time updates of the state of inventories readily available, businesses can make more effective decisions relating to inventory management.
- Big data getting bigger
Businesses will have to deal with an ever-increasing amount of data as they add more devices to their IoT systems. Businesses that can process and explore these ever-growing data points will gain a greater competitive edge through insights and accurate forecasts. Endless streams of data will help businesses gain greater insights into various aspects of their operations, including employer productivity, customer preferences, market trends, etc. But businesses looking to harness these data may need to invest more in tools for data analyses, visualization, and presentations.
- Increased data sharing and collaboration
With an ever-expanding trove of insightful data at their disposal, businesses will become more predisposed to share data and collaborate with others to explore the potentials of the data. Companies will get to collaborate and interact on a wide range of channels to help each other enhance customer experience and the efficiency of business operations.
- Enhanced productivity and efficiency
IoT systems can enhance business productivity and efficiency in a myriad of ways. Both Human-to-Machine (H2M) and Machine-to-Machine interactions in IoT systems can help shore up business operations and eliminate errors that cause inefficiencies. Automation and remote monitoring will also help expedite several business processes. Automation and data sharing will also help companies achieve greater scalability and flexibility, making IoT systems a highly profitable investment.
- Cheaper energy and operational costs
Smart technologies will help businesses operate with greater energy and time efficiency. Sensors can be installed in business facilities to identify and curb sources of energy wastage. Smart devices can also be used to significantly minimize maintenance needs in business facilities. Companies can take advantage of these possibilities to significantly reduce wastage and overall costs of operation.
- Robust remote work facilities
With cloud-based software, businesses can trump limitations related to location, getting work done independently outside the facility. IoT systems will eliminate the need for the physical presence of operators and employees in the business premises. For instance, factory managers can control and regulate an entire factory line from their smartphone’s screen. Human resource managers can source, interview, and on-board new talents thousands of miles away.
- An increasing need for technical skills
As companies embed more connected IoT devices in various aspects of businesses, technical skills will become more imperative for employees. Employees will need some level of technical skills to interact with the new technologies adopted to expedite various business processes. People with little or no technical expertise will find it increasingly difficult to find and secure good-paying jobs without upgrading their technical skills.
Final words – the road to the fourth industrial revolution
These are some of the most significant ways a new industrial revolution is currently taking shape in our business world. With the emergence of other technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, robotics, 5G, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and blockchain, we’re rolling into a new era of business that will help bring about new revenue streams, more cost savings through efficient production methods and techniques, and better training and learning techniques.