The Internet of Things might seem like it only benefits large corporations with massive budgets, but the IoT has already started to bear fruit for small businesses, too. In fact, approximately 57% of small business think the IoT will have a significant effect on their bottom line, according to an AVG survey. This will create tremendous benefits for the businesses that choose to wholeheartedly embrace this growing trend, as there are three ways the IoT can improve their bottom line:
- Reduce operating costs
- Increasing productivity
- Expanding to new markets or developing of new product offerings
IoT for Trash Collection
For example, Bigbelly, founded in 2003 by two college students. The company manufactures solar-powered devices that, on the surface, look like regular garbage cans. But inside rests a sophisticated trash compactor with sensors that monitor how full the cans are and sends notifications to the appropriate officials through the cloud when the cans need to be full.
This enhances efficiency and reduces costs because trash collectors can adjust their routes to avoid cans that do not need to be emptied. As a result, New York City has reduced its trash collection frequency in some locations from three times a day, seven days a week to just twice a week.
Here’s what owners of small and medium-sized business need to know:
Businesses of any size can increase profits and efficiencies by harnessing the power of IoT
Business owners can partner with manufacturing plants that use IoT to connect to operations, logistics, and suppliers. This enables you to manage production remotely and more efficiently. IoT can also speed deliveries to customers by connecting all relevant processes, from order taking to truck routing.
Keep up with industry-specific IoT developments
Some markets are moving closer toward their own standards for IoT. Business owners should keep this in mind when investing in the new technology. Each unique industry will start to mature and settle on protocols, hardware, and more to define its specific standard and put innovation on the fast track.
While universal standards are the ultimate goal, it may take some time to get there.
Falling sensor costs mean rising revenue opportunities
A fast-growing IoT technology market is driving down hardware costs. Products equipped with increasingly affordable IoT sensors can alert customers when service is needed. This is creating opportunities for ongoing revenue streams and customer relationships for what were previously one-purchase products.
More data makes smaller businesses competitive
Affordable IoT sensors open up a vast reservoir of data for business owners. IoT provides a way to build better, smart products.
These products use sensors to collect data from their environments. Such information may include product performance to customer behavior to employee productivity, depending on the nature of the sensor and purpose of the product. New APIs make it possible to integrate that data into existing IT infrastructures, enabling business owners to create more efficient systems and processes.
IoT faces the same security challenges as other internet activities
IoT security threats grew in 2016 and continue to be a concern today. Both equipment manufacturers and government regulators paying more attention to such online threats. But it’s also important that business owners adopt the same kinds of cybersecurity best practices for IoT that they use in their other online activities measures.
Not only Corporates but also Small Businesses
It’s clear that the IoT will affect small businesses. There is no shortage of devices that small businesses can leverage in order to take advantage of the IoT. The IoT business opportunities are numerous, and only time will tell just how companies across the globe will seize those opportunities and reap the benefits. But business is just one piece of the world that the IoT will transform. The Internet of Things will fundamentally alter healthcare, finance, transportation, utilities, and even entire cities.