From off-the-shelf devices to bespoke solutions, IoT has moved beyond buzz-term status to become a tangible money saver in almost every industry.
The Internet of Things – IoT for short – still carries a buzzy, nebulous ring for many people, but it's tangible technology that's having a significant impact on a broad range of businesses. Whether using off-the-shelf products designed for multiple industries or working with partners to deploy or develop custom solutions, Canadian companies are leveraging IoT to save money by improving existing processes, realizing new efficiencies and collecting data that provides valuable new insights.
According to German business intelligence portal Statista, the number of connected devices is going to grow at an accelerated rate over the next several years, jumping from 23 billion in 2018 to more than 75 billion by 2025. And the bulk of these new devices will be categorized as IoT—machines other than tablets, phones and computers— many of which are designed explicitly for business use.
The tracking and monitoring of vital assets has become much simpler thanks to IoT. Connected sensors are being used to transmit the location of vehicles, the movement of inventory and the status of stationary machines or containers. These low-maintenance, inexpensive devices are saving companies money by providing up-to-the-minute reports accessible day or night from wherever you happen to be. This information results in improved scheduling and reduced technician field hours.
Other industries are deploying purpose-built technologies that leverage IoT in ways specific to their business, often discovering valuable new insights in the process. Insurance companies, for example, have discovered that employees drive their vehicles more safely when they're being monitored. With the help of IoT – specifically, telematics devices that record and analyze a driver's speed as well as braking and cornering behaviours – they're able to use this understanding to create opt-in telematics-based insurance programs that lower the risk of accidents and save their customers money.
Of course, there isn't an off-the-shelf product for every potential business use of IoT. Companies of all types and sizes are constantly discovering new ways in which connected devices can provide a competitive advantage within their operations, from farmers looking for ways to monitor pests, moisture and crop growth to retailers that want to better understand customer behaviour in order to improve products, services and store layouts. Bespoke projects may be costlier to implement, but the long-term cost savings they provide can be enormous. For example, the city of Barcelona has implemented custom sensors in its waste bins that detect when they're in need of collection. Efficiencies realized by this new system are expected to save the city US$4 billion over a 10-year period.
The crux is this: IoT is everywhere, and it may already be saving your competitors money. If you're looking for help figuring out how to make IoT work for your business, or you already have an idea but you need a partner to assist you in bringing it to life, Rogers can help. Find out more at www.rogers.com/iot