The IoT (which, if you’re unfamiliar, stands for the Internet of Things) has moved from a nice idea to a mainstream reality in a remarkably short period of time. It wasn’t too long ago when the notion that everyday appliances would somehow communicate on a regular basis would have seemed laughable — but today it’s a vital part of the business world.
Yes, connectivity between electronic devices is actually serving to improve business operations. How? Among other things, it’s massively enhancing data tracking and automation across many huge industries. And in this post, we’re going to detail a few ways in which this is happening.
Telematics systems are enabling efficient fleet management
Telematics systems function through tracking local data and transmitting it for remote use, and they’re incredibly useful when it comes to automotive systems. There are numerous metrics that are hugely significant for fleet drivers in particular: how efficiently they steer, how smoothly they corner, how promptly they brake, and how effectively they navigate traffic, to name just some.
Relying on self-reported information will typically lead to drivers overestimating how good they are at their jobs. By implementing telematics systems using GPS technology to track vehicle locations and performance metrics, fleet-management companies can follow along with how their drivers are really performing, ensuring that they can make appropriate suggestions and decisions about which employees should be given which roles.
This information is also invaluable for vehicle maintenance, because a dip in performance metrics can indicate mechanical degradation. Serving vehicles in a timely fashion can prevent major problems from emerging down the line, saving a lot of money and effort.
RFID tags are making it possible to run automated warehousing
Whether they’re running ecommerce outlets or simply managing their in-house resources, many big companies spend a lot of time in warehouses, and that work can be both stressful and expensive. In principle, though, IoT tech could do away with so many actions that have traditionally needed staff — and it’s RFID tags that make it possible.
By tagging all their stocked items and having stock-management robots that can read those tags, companies can minimize the impact of human error and allow their systems to come up with the most efficient ways to store and retrieve those items. The more sophisticated the robotics industry becomes, the less need there will be for companies like Amazon to work their employees quite so hard (in manual labor tasks, at least).
IoT devices can be updated in situ, boosting security and stability
Lastly, business operations have relied heavily on electronics systems for decades, and this often results in systems becoming obsolete and needing to be replaced. With IoT tech, their operational lifespans can be extended through firmware updates that address security issues and improve performance — and it can all be done without physically accessing them.
Over-the-air (OTA) updates aren’t just for smartphones. Connecting a device of almost any kind to the IoT makes it more valuable in the long term and saves the company relying on it from needing to send out an engineer to shut it down and patch it locally. It also makes it easier to know when a device needs an update, or when a fault develops that needs to be addressed.
With the IoT connecting devices throughout the business world, companies can run smarter and more efficient operations that use rich data analytics and automated workflows to minimize the required human resources and cut out most errors. Overall, the future for the IoT is bright.