How to design an IoT strategy that boosts productivity

May 2, 2019 Rogers for Business

Four ways to leverage your existing IoT network to enhance team efficiency and get more done

Your company has embraced the Internet of Things. The $745 billion IoT market hasn't passed you by; your business is using its share of the 23 billion-plus IoT devices currently deployed around the world to save on your energy bill, track and maintain fleets of equipment, and better understand your clients' needs. It's a job well done, built on the strong foundation of Rogers Internet. Your business is comfortably situated above the middle of the IoT curve.

There's still room to climb higher.

We continue to find new ways to leverage existing IoT networks, resulting in new efficiencies and boosts to productivity. For example, you may be able to use the data you're already harvesting to create predictive analytics that empower decision makers to head off problems before they happen. Or you might be able to repurpose some of the information you're already harvesting from IoT to enhance the customer experience and increase trust and loyalty.

Here are four critical steps to take that will help you enhance your IoT solution and increase productivity within your organization:

Create an IoT strategy lead

IoT strategy doesn't end with deployment. There's a good chance the data you collect from your IoT network can be put to use in new ways by other people within your business to increase productivity, decrease costs, or even develop new products and services – right now, or at some point in the future.

However, the only way to realize these opportunities is to have someone looking for them. Identify an employee who works with your IoT network and understands how it's used. Give them the responsibility of keeping up to date on IoT trends and researching how to make the most of what you already have. It costs nothing more than a bit of time, and many untapped IoT benefits can be achieved simply by providing data access to the right person so that they can act on the information.

Search for new ways to leverage IoT devices and data to enhance productivity

Finding ways to provide services and products more efficiently and at lower cost is a cornerstone of any good business strategy, and your IoT network might be able to help in ways you may not have considered.

For example, the data you collect through IoT devices might be valuable to others within your company beyond the team for which it was implemented. From frontline workers like sales and customer service teams to marketing and other internal teams, providing the right data to the right managers can be a key to boosting productivity.

It isn't always obvious how to connect the dots, but that's what your newly appointed IoT strategist is for. They can discover new opportunities through discussions with staff, then enlist help to put the pieces in place. You might not realize it, but the Rogers business team does more than simply help Canadian companies connect their devices. Its professional managed services team includes experts in IoT who can help you leverage your IoT investment in innovative ways.

Consider scenarios in which your IoT data might improve the customer experience

You and your staff aren't the only ones who can benefit from your IoT network. The data it collects may be valuable to customers as well, providing real-time information on prices, stock, and new products and services. By making select information available to customers, you can empower them to make better buying decisions, and they will appreciate and remember you for it.

Figuring out what information your customers want could involve conversations between frontline workers and buyers, a simple online survey, or a formal business analysis. Then it's just a matter of working out a means of making it easily accessible for your audience.

Re-evaluate your IoT security

Owners who are in tune with their businesses make better decisions that can enhance team productivity. Security plays an important role in a company's overall health, and part of your ongoing IoT strategy should include a commitment to stay informed of the unique security concerns associated with IoT devices.

Remember that each new device your company connects to the Internet represents a possible entry point for someone with malicious intent. Your security platform should be configured to take this threat into account, and the devices you've deployed may need firmware updates to keep them safe. Staff who work directly with your IoT network should be alerted to any specific concerns that fall outside automated defences.

The Internet of Things is largely industry agnostic. It has proven itself useful in businesses of all kinds and sizes. But proper application of IoT technologies differs even between organizations within the same field. If you can find someone in your company willing and capable of taking ownership of your IoT strategy, and enlist the help of third-party expertise when needed, you'll be well on your way to ascending towards the top of the IoT curve.

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