Many are calling the Internet of Things the next Industrial Revolution. The report from HPE focuses on why so many SMBs are moving ahead with IoT in light of the complexity that it represents, and how the changes, driven by IoT technology, will play out for SMBs who want to leap-frog their competition.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will fundamentally change the way we experience our world, says the report. The smooth functioning of healthcare, finance, transportation, utilities, households, and even entire cities, will soon be dependent on the data generated by IoT. IoT technologies will impact key relationships including people with people, people with things, and things with things. it will directly affect the ways that governments, businesses of all sizes, and consumers interact with their physical worlds.
If you are a small business, says the report, you are part of a vibrant, 200 million-strong market segment. In fact, 99% of the businesses in the world are small and medium-sized businesses. That’s a huge market opportunity for IoT application developers and solution providers to tap into. It also means that companies who require technological innovations that leverage the agility, simplicity, and reliability necessary to achieve long-term success, will directly benefit from their R&D.
Solution providers are beginning to productize IoT solutions tailored specifically for SMB operations, says the report. These include fleet management, security and surveillance, point-of-sale, and asset monitoring. Use of IoT sensors and cameras brings enriched information to healthcare, retail, financial, truly every industry that depends on real-time data. Customized cameras and digital controls will further automate both business and consumer processes, making ease of use, stability, even automated transportation, a reality. By leveraging these IoT tools, new market expansion or developing new product offerings based on IoT technology, becomes more attainable for SMBs.
Deploying an IoT solution, however, isn’t for the faint of heart, says the report. Many high-profile deployments that have garnered public attention are driven by large, multi-national corporations, because implementation often requires pulling together a team to plan, test, deploy and manage just one IoT solution. Even simple implementations can involve custom application development, testing of platforms and devices, as well as an analysis of how device communications are translated.
The explosion of data volume that comes from smart phone apps and IoT means that small and medium size businesses will need to find ways to store and mine the valuable information that is generated by related devices. For example, says the report, by collecting data on consumer behavior, interests and lifestyles, SMBs can more effectively tailor marketing strategies to meet their customers’ real-time needs.
The IoT is always connected, always on, and that around-the-clock connectivity to products and users gives SMBs the ability to continuously monitor for ongoing/real-time knowledge of the condition and usage of products or users in your market, says the report. Because of this continuous monitoring, you can manage, on a real-time basis, pushing upgrades, fixes, or patches, as needed. Constant connection to customers or employees also gives SMBs a channel to motivate those stakeholders to take action, such as purchasing a product, updating an application, or filing a sales report.
Summarizing, the report notes that the potential of IoT for your business is only limited by imagination and innovation. IoT initiatives that transform data into business value require a new way of thinking about the technology that supports it. You need to recognize that IoT will continue to evolve over time. Planning for your foreseeable future is critical, and creating a roadmap that starts with small IoT implementations, and grows, pending analysis of program results, is an essential first step to facilitate your success.
For additional information from HPE, please visit here.