Ever since its creation, the Internet has gone through leaps and bounds in improvement. So much so that today, it is no longer an abstraction of sorts but something that has transformed into an enabler of activities in our human lives today. A couple of years ago, people would have thought it impossible for your coffee maker to start brewing when your alarm clock goes off. The concept of tracking data and/or usage in the ways that it happens today, too, would have been a jaw-dropper. However, all of these things are possible with the Internet of Things.
What is the Internet of Things? (IoT)
Internet of Things is primarily a group of Internet-enabled devices that are connected wirelessly and share information. Drawing from the example given earlier, when your coffee pot starts brewing after your alarm clock goes off, it does so as a result of an exchange of information between itself and the alarm clock.
This interconnection opens up several possible opportunities for you as a business owner. All you have to do is tap into it.
How can the Internet of Things change your business model?
If not completely change how it works, at the very least, the Internet of Things has the potential to improve your business model. Here are three different ways through which this could happen:
Improvement in the ability to create value
In the past, companies had to compete viciously to provide value to their clients. Adverts rolled out, promotions went on endlessly, industrial espionage even seemed to gain quite a bit of ground too. In addition to all of these, people made multiple improvements to their products so that they could get more customers.
When all these strategies become over-flogged, businesses then began to look at prices. They made cuts and gave discounts to the point where they were practically giving things out. In the end, the products lost value, and several companies had to think of an entirely new product to start from scratch or something of that sort.
However, now that virtually everything is connected and it is so much easier to gather data, businesses don’t necessarily have to follow this process. You can basically collect data from your customers or clients about your product. Through that, you can make improvements where necessary. The best part is that you can roll out those improvements at a faster rate than before. That way, business goes on regardless, and customers get value for their money.
Prevention of loss of equity
For this example, we would use a car rental service. Before the existence of the Internet of Things, people will merely come into the store, rent the car and go on to do whatever they want. If the car gets scratched, for example, the renter can simply deny doing it, especially if a detailed report of the condition of the car was not given beforehand. As such, the culprit could escape the extra charges that come with damaging the product.
Now, with the Internet of Things, sensors can be attached to different parts of the car. These sensors track various things, including the amount of usage, fuel consumption rate, as well as whatever damages might occur. The data would be transferred on the go to the car rental company and would help prevent unnecessary losses.
Increased levels of efficiency and productivity
If you own a business that relies on keeping products in a warehouse, chances are your workers would have had to spend hundreds of man-hours taking inventory. Questions concerning each product and their “well-being” would have to be answered through a tedious process of counting and checking.
However, with IoT, you can change that. With sensors constantly tracking the exit of products from your store and identifying damages, your workers can spend more time focusing on other more productive tasks. They can just as easily use that time to create better models of the product or be engaged in conversational selling endeavors that convert potential customers.
The Internet of Things holds many promising possibilities for businesses all over the world. If used right, there is the potential that it can improve the product/service delivery of a business greatly. This article lists three major ways it can do so.