The amount of communication and data available thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) will have significant benefits for many industries and leaders. The integration of this interconnection for specific customer-based information has the potential to change the way organisations operate.
The IoT is starting to boom and is set to grow exponentially over the next few years. According to Cisco, the market for IoT could be worth $19 trillion within the next decade. In addition, Gartner has predicted that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices, including an estimated 7.3 billion smartphones, tablets and PCs – one for every person on the planet.
The IoT is already having a significant impact in areas such as health, retail, manufacturing and also finance. According to PWC’s 6th annual digital IQ survey, leaders expect the IoT and AI to bring about the biggest change and 74 per cent say they are investing in IoT.
Some of the significant ways in which the IoT is likely to impact include the following –
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As more people become connected to a range of different devices, including cars, buildings, machines and wearables, this will generate immense levels of data which will need to be analysed, stored and managed.
In turn, this will require greater investment in data analytics and also a greater reliance on cloud technology to deal with the growing level of data. This growth means new opportunities in how companies interact and service customers as well as the type of new products that can be developed.
The majority of the data will also be supplied in real-time, displayed through intuitive dashboards that can help to greatly aid decision making and planning. This wave of instant data is likely to pave the way for more automation tools to help process and analyse data.
Take for example the accounting industry, IoT will impact the way audits are carried out. The availability of real-time data coming from multiple sources and automated analysis will increase the need for continuous auditing with the upshot of this being better risk management and detection of issues.
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The IToT will allow businesses to collect behavioural information in the areas of buying preferences and stock movement. For example, warehouse shelves are being fitted with sensors that can detect when inventory gets low, then an automatic reorder request is made and sent directly to suppliers.
According to Accenture’s 2017 Global Distribution and Marketing Consumer Study, 46 per cent of consumers are willing to pay more for personalised, real-time services and also willing to share more personal data to get them.
Take for example the insurance industry, the IoT is resulting in new models of insurance, such as usage-based insurance (UBI). UBI is starting to be seen mostly in the car insurance sector where connected cars are tracking drivers’ habits in real time allowing auto insurers to more accurately price their premiums and provide savings to their customers.
Aiding this growth is the rise in connected cars. BI Intelligence predicts that by 2021, 82 per cent of all new cars will be connected. One example of this is through connected cars which could register weather warnings such as hail storms.
The IoT has numerous benefits for so many industries, however the key is to understand how it can impact a business. For example, making emerging technology such as IoT a core competency of an organisation and identify how and where it can make a difference to the business and industry.