The business benefits of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is much more than just the smart fridges or intelligent heating systems that we seem to hear about so frequently. The global market for hardware, software, data and telecoms is set to expand to $520bn by 2021, an incredible doubling in size from 2017.
Businesses are already starting to make the most of the technology, utilising it to monitor processes, boost efficiency and provide insights which can guide company strategy. Here are just a few ways that adopting IoT technology can have a positive impact:
In industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare the use of IoT tech is rapidly increasing. By collecting more data and increasing the potential for analysis, companies are gaining a greater insight into their business, its strengths, weaknesses and how their customers use their products. In piecing together this information, there’s the chance to increase efficiency, better meet customer need or increase profits – such as using artificial intelligence to inspect railways and identify faults.
IoT data gives businesses much deeper insights into their customers and how they interact with both the company and its products and services. Making the customer experience as frictionless as possible is something many businesses strive for, particularly in retail. Employing IoT technologies in shopping environments can not only aid the journey, but also provide data to innovate and give shoppers what they want in future, essentially creating a personalised customer experience.
Enhancing green credentials and making genuine, positive environmental decisions is a key focus for modern businesses. Reducing waste and saving energy is a key part of this and IoT tech can play a big role in identifying inefficiencies that create increased wastage. Leveraging IoT tech that monitors what inventory is on hand, naturally rotates old stock to go out first and prevents overstocking works to reduce waste and prevent capital being tied up in stock that may go out of date and spoil. These kind of surplus prevention strategies can stop wastage and the requirement of expensive storage facilities for unneeded, surplus stock, particularly for refrigerated produce.
New business models
The information provided by the IoT can provide valuable insight into consumers, products and business efficiencies, which in turn can highlight opportunities for innovation and growth. Smart TVs, internet-enabled cars and even coffee machines can all feed usage data back to the manufacturers, providing previously unheard-of insights which can significantly improve the design of the next model or even identify a gap in the market for new innovations.
In order for businesses to successfully use IoT they need experienced employees, with knowledge of how to develop and implement the technology. However, currently the demand for computer science skills far outstrips the supply of qualified graduates, and organisations across industries and sectors are desperate for those equipped with the relevant knowledge in this field. The University of York’s 100% online Computer Science Masters programme is designed for professionals and graduates who may not currently have a computer science background, who want to launch their career in this in-demand and lucrative field.
With six start dates a year you can study around work and home commitments. There’s a pay-per-module option available, and some students may be eligible for a government backed postgraduate loan to cover costs of the course.