Not started an IoT project yet? Here’s what you should consider
The Internet of Things has arrived, and it’s only expected to become more ingrained in the business world. The breadth and depth of the field, however, means business owners and managers often feel overwhelmed when considering how to incorporate IoT products into their companies. Here are a few tips to consider:
Before considering your IoT options, think about your day-to-day business operations. Shipping, in particular, focuses on efficiency, and there are plenty of IoT options to make the process more seamless. It’s also worth considering products that enable mobile work; smart sensors, for example, can let employees access information while away from the office, potentially enabling telecommuting and letting employees stay productive while travelling.
One of the most powerful tools provided by IoT technology is gathering data. However, it’s important to ensure data collected is useful. Find out what kind of information can lead to insight, and focus on data that can help you provide more cost-effective service or reach new customer bases. It’s also essential to have the storage and analytical tools needed to handle this information, so factor these into your cost equations.
Employ a Critical Mind
New IoT products are popping up constantly, and smart sales pitches can make it tempting to buy them. Make sure you’re critical of new products, and consider waiting for reviews to ensure new products deliver as promised. You’ll also want to determine how certain products can be integrated within your IT infrastructure, as products that rely on proprietary communication protocols might make information difficult to access.
Focus on the Software
While IoT hardware can be especially exciting, it’s the software that gathers and analyses information and lets you interact with smart devices. Before picking out hardware, ensure you’re using the right software for your needs. Incorporating new devices into your IT infrastructure is easier if you have flexible software in place.
Managing Your Building
While the IoT promises to revolutionize many parts of the business world, it’s more mature in certain fields. Thanks to smart sensors and other technology, types of IoT have been developed especially for building management, and these tools can save a significant amount of money and streamline your business practices. In many cases, these technologies can pay for themselves over time. Smart HVAC management, for example, can significantly reduce your bills.
Make Security a Top Priority
With the power of the IoT comes a major risk: security breaches. IoT devices can be powerful components on botnets, and they provide additional attack vectors for malicious actors. Make sure to pick out devices that provide robust protection, and have a plan for updating your software. Ensure those responsible for maintaining your infrastructure’s security know their responsibilities.
Don’t Get Locked In
Companies often tout the benefits of using only their IoT devices, and some even set up barriers for using competitors’ products. Take steps to avoid this lock in, as it limits your flexibility in the future. Furthermore, look for products that support open standards to ensure your network is able to interact with new devices.
The Internet of Things is coming, and businesses need to adapt to remain competitive. However, incorporating IoT technology must be done carefully and thoughtfully to avoid wasting money. By focusing on open standards and flexibility, you can ensure your purchases remain compatible as you add more IoT devices to your network.