How to listen and respond to data before The Internet of Things takes you by surprise Published November 4, 2015 If you tend to find yourself marveling in awe at how long-established companies are able to utilise cutting-edge technology to improve their own internal and external processes, you might be interested to find out how the rise of the Internet of Things could help your business. New connected devices and technologies can improve customer service, increase productivity, increase your profit and be a driving force in the growth of your company. We’re focussing on the role of the Internet of Things and what this has in store for us. Let’s look at some key players in the field of connected technology and assess how we can use these as a role model for our own businesses. Leading the field Philips are leading the way in integrating connected devices into their business plan. They have recently announced that they are strengthening their collaboration with Amazon Web Services. Why? Simply because they have recognised that a platform of IoT connected devices that are connected to their HealthSuite digital platform will create an ecosystem of healthcare applications, enabling collaboration and workflow between doctors and patients and improving their service. No longer is a healthcare practice just a healthcare practice, they are now an online platform, an entity of interconnected devices that can innovative and develop the technology their customers use. By investigating opportunities such as these, you could successfully diversify your business, grow your online presence and listen and respond to data through something as simple as an online platform. Connectivity is key Wearable technologies are predicted to become commonplace in the coming years, and these can provide you not only with invaluable data on your customers, but also a direct method with which you can communicate with them. Not only this, they also enable you to connect to your workforce and can be a valuable tool in improving productivity, therefore improving customer service and company performance. Wearables currently being utilised by companies include fitness trackers and smartwatches, which can be valuable for corporate health and wellness, and mobile workforce management which can improve work flow to save you valuable time and money. Driving innovation Connected devices are also being used to change the way that we work and do business. One such example is in-car trackers which report the driver’s habits back to the insurance company, who can then adjust insurance premiums up or down accordingly. What would more informative data do for your company? From knowing where our customers shop, to what offers they did or didn’t purchase, every piece of data is valuable if we know how to use it correctly. To quote Andy Hobsbawm, CEO of IoT smart products platform EVRYTHING, “Consider that a million connected devices sending an update two times per second creates the equivalent of 333 times the number of tweets per second Twitter has to deal with. Then consider that Cisco forecasts 50bn such devices by 2020.” The sheer scale of the IoT is something to be reckoned with, and we suspect the innovation and new technology that is going to arise as a result of the IoT is going to be truly remarkable. With great power, comes great responsibility With such a massive influx of data, there is going to be significant demand on businesses to deliver. What businesses need to avoid are “Interruption of Service” or “Sorry, there seems to be a problem” messages popping up on customers’ connected devices, as this could cause damage to brands and customer relationships. Fortunately we have several years to prepare ourselves, update our systems and put strategies in place to ensure we can cope with the massive rise of IoT devices, so we advise you to start planning your IoT strategy now. We also have a responsibility to ensure that our data protection and information governance is up to scratch, as we need to protect the data we are receiving and utilise it responsibly. Final thought The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a force that is driving innovation and new opportunities by bringing every object, consumer, and activity into the digital realm and then connecting them. From improving company workflow, to developing customer relationships, IoT connected devices are going to pave the way for new technologies and new opportunities for businesses that are prepared to explore the possibilities the IoT presents. All you need to do is listen and respond to data by preparing for the future of IoT in business and in everyday life.