What are the Benefits of IoT?

Updated: Jun 30

Smart farming technology

The origin of the “internet of things” (IoT) was first used by Kevin Ashton in 1999. Kevin Ashton was a British technology pioneer who described the Internet of Things as “not the future, but the present”.

The Internet of Things would take off again from 2013 and its advantages are still taking the world by storm as its uses bring a variety of solutions that businesses could use to help improve their operations.

Advantages of IoT:

  • Reduction in costs

  • Increase in efficiency and productivity

  • Generate new business opportunities

  • Improve customer experience

  • Mobility and agility

  • Improved decision making

Reduction in costs with IoT

One of the strongest promises of advanced IoT systems is that it will help reduce overall costs of business operations as more insight is displayed and investigated, businesses can make changes to help improve the entirety of their operations.

Silicon Valley-based company: Enlighted, for example, claims to reduce clients’ lighting bills by 60 to 70 percent, and their air conditioning bills by 20 to 30 percent.

With this in mind, your business can benefit from reviewing data from IoT to help save money.

Increase in efficiency and productivity

Smart farming work

Just as important as saving costs comes the realisation that businesses can improve overall productivity of their business by looking at what their IoT sensors indicate can help them be more productive.

Knowing what makes your businesses more profitable can help save time and remove unwanted tasks that may not be beneficial to your business.

Generate new business opportunities

Implementing IoT solutions often generates efficiency gains of 20% - 30% percent by improving performance in areas such as delivery time and pricing for tailored opportunities.

With this in mind, everyday operations could use raw data to help streamline tasks covered in the business to maximise everyday opportunities.

Improve decision making

It should come as no surprise that the use of IoT helps the decision making process, as users will have empirical data to backup decisions that will help shape and improve the growth of everyday business.

Improve Customer Experience With IoT

The integration of third-party platforms into IoT can help businesses improve customer journeys as you gain more insight into how they interact with your business.

Mobility and agility

Having data that is readily available to you at all times makes it even easier for users to carry around when performing tasks.

With smart farming IoT, farmers can use their laptop or tablet as they work throughout the day. This benefits them as they do not need to stick to office spaces and can work remotely throughout the day.

The number of businesses that use the IoT technologies has increased from 13 % in 2014 to about 25% in 2019, which represents a significant leap in the way people are using it one way or another to help streamline a variety of processes.

Data below shows the percentage increase across different sectors that are using IoT today:

Increase in IoT usage

Overall, this represents a great opportunity for small to large scale businesses the opportunity to adopt IoT systems to help better their operations and be more productive and profitable.

What Does IoT Mean?

IoT refers at the relationship used between devices and environments. When setup properly, these devices are used to operate a number of functions from sensors embedded in certain areas that relay information to a central UI (user interface), so that users can get more feedback on a given area.

What Are The Disadvantages Of IoT?

With new technology comes the promise of improving a variety of functions around a business, but this also brings threats as your data is more accessible to you and potentially used by those who wish to use it against you.

For reference, data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020 with 86% of breaches found to be financially motivated and 10% were motivated by espionage.

Disadvantages Of IoT:

  • Data breaches

  • Dependence

  • Complexity of systems

Data breaches

As more of your information is added online for businesses to use as an added advantage, the reality is that your data is exposed to the world and can be accessible if businesses do not look after their data properly.

There has been a substantial increase in the use if ransomware over the years as more businesses upload most of their systems online.

Ransomware attacks have grown by 715% during the 2020 pandemic as criminals try to capitalize on businesses who choose to work remotely.

With this in mind, businesses need to make sure that one of the areas they need to check with their initial IoT setup includes the area surrounding security and backups to make sure they’re not subject to attacks and loss of data in the future.

Dependence of IoT

The adoption of IoT within a business’s represents a lot of opportunity but dependence on the system could be a disadvantage too.

Growing concerns over the dependence of systems leaves businesses in a precarious position whereby they feel isolated in its features and costs. The IoT sector is still growing and whilst this market is not saturated, costs and options are limited to businesses.

On another front, the issue related to outages and support is just as important, as businesses rely on the data that is collected from sensors.

If these systems are interrupted, the realisation that without a good support network, businesses could lose money down the road.

Gartner estimates the average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute which equates to more than $300,000 an hour.

Whilst this figure above does not represent every business, one can expect outages to cause disruption as more businesses need coverage online.

Complexity of IoT

The growing concern of todays IoT systems mean that fewer businesses look the other way as the adoption is too complicated for them to use. Another issue relates to users of existing IoT systems running into further issues as the advancement of existing systems means users feel alienated by new features and updates.

In a survey delivered to over 3000 decision makers across various industries across the world, 85% responded that they are planning or already using IoT in the workplace.

However, some businesses reported that many IoT projects fail during the proof-of-concept stage as the implementation costs of the start-up spiral and they discover that they have no clearly defined bottom-line benefits for the tech.

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