The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most interesting technology markets emerging for small and mid-sized businesses for some time. It can cut down on a lot of time and effort in several different functions of your business. We’d like to spend some time this month taking a look at some of the ways small and mid-sized businesses are utilizing the IoT.
Before we get into individual use cases, we should admit that the concept of IoT devices over the years has been connected to a wide range of cybersecurity issues. Obviously, this should bring up some concerns, but when implemented properly and safely, they can bring a lot of value and automation to your business. We can’t stress enough how important it is to have an IT professional who knows how to integrate new tools into an environment that has extremely important data flowing in and out of it regularly.
IoT Improves Business Automation
With all the tools out there that claim to improve efficiency, it is difficult to identify which of them can actually work for your business. Really what you should be looking for are ways to automate repetitive and mundane tasks so that your employees don’t have to spend a lot of their time focused on them. The Internet of Things presents an opportunity to fill in a lot of the gaps with tools that can actually improve efficiency. One of the most notable ways it can help is in the management of your brick and mortar locations. Smart technology has made significant strides in centralized management and security since their inception and can provide your business with the following functionality:
- Managing temperature – IoT sensors can control HVAC systems and adjust heating and cooling to save energy. With energy prices currently in a steady climb, this can add up to significant cost savings over time.
- Managing lighting – As with HVAC controls, controlling the cost of lighting in your business’ location(s) can be of great benefit. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy adding IoT lighting controls can reduce lighting energy consumption by nearly half.
- Managing building maintenance – Sensors connected to a business’ IT infrastructure or machinery can deliver the data needed to allow managers to make more informed decisions about their business. This can have a positive effect on location maintenance and scheduling.
- Energy consumption – On top of controlling costs, IoT tools can provide managers with a lot of great information to help make decisions that not only help the bottom line, they also can improve efficiency and productivity. The more you know, the better. The IoT provides a lot of good information for decision makers to use to improve their businesses.
IoT Isn’t that Pricy
One major factor for any business is cost. As more businesses utilize IoT technology, the price for sensors and other smart devices declines rapidly. Today, businesses can get the IoT technology, as well as the necessary shift in business networking that it needs to properly and securely function, for a fraction of the cost than the same system would have cost just a short time ago. What’s more, the IoT can help your business stabilize costs by automating some typically expensive business processes, including:
- Inventory management – You can more easily keep track of your business’ inventory, even if your goods and components are stored offsite. There are systems that will trigger an order when a stock gets to a certain number, taking inventory management off your staff’s plate.
- Safety and compliance – Every business has to deal with a certain number of local, state, and federal regulations. IoT can be implemented to ensure that your staff is operating in a safe and compliant environment.
- Security – New camera systems no longer require businesses to swap out tapes or disks. Today, IoT-fueled CCTV systems can be viewed remotely and be recorded to the cloud. Not only that, if you choose to have access control badges for your employees, you can control their access to business resources and track all employee movement to solve operational problems more quickly.
You can implement these systems for a reasonable expense and over time they will pay for themselves.
We Can Help!
Integrating IoT into your business isn’t as easy as just plugging in the devices and forging ahead. There needs to be some consideration to the deployment to ensure network security and the viability of the IoT solution. We can help. Our team of IT professionals thrives in situations where we are asked to help New Mexico businesses innovate and prosper. If you would like to have a conversation about integrating the IoT into your business, give S3 Technologies a call today at (505)242-5683.