IoT is here, and here's how you can get ready to make it work for you
The Internet of Things (IoT) is upon mainstream Canadian business.
Stories about how a forward-thinking farm in Saskatchewan has implemented crop sensors or a savvy restaurant in B.C. has integrated smart menus have transcended curiosity status to become the norm. The proof is in the numbers. Deloitte estimates spending on IoT technology will reach $1.1 trillion in 2020, while Statista predicts the number of connected devices will top 30 billion that same year.
The longer managers ignore the potential benefits of IoT, the more they may risk giving up a competitive advantage to other companies within their industry. But there's no reason to panic. 2019 is the perfect time to investigate and prepare your business to adopt sensible, low-cost IoT technologies that can save time and money, provide valuable strategic insights, and perhaps even overcome long-standing challenges.
The following four-step checklist can help to make sure your business is ready to begin considering IoT integration.
Investigate the competition
The easiest and most cost-effective way to figure out how you can make the most of IoT is simply to see how your competitors are already using it. Some examples: transportation companies are deploying sensors to manage fleet locations and vehicle maintenance; importers are using IoT to monitor the status of incoming shipments; retailers are using RFID tags to automate inventory tracking and restocking tasks; and manufacturers are leveraging connected equipment to improve production. These are proven, off-the-shelf technologies that can be implemented quickly – and less expensively – than paying a developer to design a bespoke solution.
Take stock of your existing infrastructure
Once you have a rough idea how IoT might help your business, take a moment to assess your existing technology to gauge whether it's ready for IoT integration. Operating more connected devices creates more potential points for security breaches, and the new information you collect could result in additional data storage requirements. Is your security up to snuff? Is it time to change over to a cloud storage solution? This is a good opportunity to take stock of your existing infrastructure and ensure it's where it needs to be.
Cut costs and risks by leveraging proven solutions
IoT has matured to the point that solutions originally designed for other companies and industries are available to be deployed within yours, letting you enjoy their proven business benefits with minimal risk and at a lower cost. Experienced IoT providers can set up and configure these technologies for your organization, and provide ongoing support and upgrades based on lessons learned from a broad pool of customers.
Get advice from an expert
As IoT has grown, so, too, has the number of people who are experienced in its effective use and implementation. Rogers has consultants trained to provide guidance and solutions that can help your company begin easily and seamlessly integrating IoT technologies into its operation in ways that can have a direct and immediate impact on your bottom line, from simple building automation improvements to the deployment of wearable devices for workers and clients.